September 5, 2011

Drafting and Editing from Artwork to Writing

Happy Labor Day! ♥

In the first draft of a wip, I write quickly. I don't focus on details, but I give a general idea of what I want to get across. Emotion is at its most basic. Stage direction is kept to a minimum. Setting is bare bones, and the dialogue is often stilted and unnatural. As long as I get down a general sense of setting and what needs to happen both internally and externally to move the story along then that's all I need for the time being.

Just like in writing, when I draft a new art piece, I start messy. Quick, unrefined lines. Basic outline. Overall flow. No real idea yet of a background, but an idea of my light source and what I want to convey.

I am going to let you guys see a tiny snippet of the first draft of my wip to demonstrate. Be warned, it's pretty awful lol.

First drafts:
He grinned and gestured with his head for me to follow him. We headed down the river, along the opposite bank across the docks. The Labyrinth loomed behind us as the river snaked north and the continued east towards the old freight yard. Like the Labyrinth, the residents here lived in boxcars, but they were place in rows, one level only, and with enough space between them to provide an illusion of property. It wasn't much, but Avan had beamed the day he told me he'd moved out of the apartment above his dad's shop.

Terrible descriptions. Typos. Flat. Blegh.


Messy. Rough lines. Basic idea.

On my second draft, I'll typically rewrite the sentences, this time choosing my words more carefully. I'll flesh out the descriptions to paint the image of the scene I initially had in my head.

In art, likewise the first I do is redraw the lines. Clean lines this time. Then I begin to block in color and work in large details at first before narrowing down on the finer ones.

Second drafts:
He grinned and, once we reached the other side of the river, gestured with his chin for me to follow. We walked along the bank, the waning light turning the river to ink. We kept above the sinking mud and the stripped trees that stood like pale corpses in the gloom. The Labyrinth loomed behind us like a black shroud across the sky as the river turned north, and we continued east towards the freight yard. Like the Labyrinth, the residents there lived in boxcars, but they stood in neat rows, one level only, and with enough space between each to provide the illusion of personal property. It wasn't much, but the happiest I'd ever seen Avan was the day he moved out of the apartment above his dad's shop.

Better, but now it feels too wordy. I will have to refine in my next draft and be even pickier about my word choices.


Clean lines. Color and light source are laid out.

With each pass, I refine and refine. Add details. Take details away. Make sure the whole picture/scene blends together.

Keep going until you're done!


Of course, my wip isn't complete yet so I don't have a final scene to show you =P But you guys get the idea ♥

Any of you willing to share a paragraph of a first draft and then compare it with a recent version? *bats eyelashes*

Have an awesome week, guys! ♥

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