Re: FWD: What's the significance of a draft
Now as for drafts, in general I don't do them. I put the information together as
best I can and send it out for review.
... I also tend to be one of those writers
who edits himself as he writes. I do a lot of stop, backup, and restart writing.
I'm just the opposite. I try to rip through a "first draft" as quickly as possible, not stopping for editing, correcting typos, or anything. It's basically a brain dump. Because of that, my "first draft" is usually a thorough mess, but contains most of the info that's needed, plus some placeholders for stuff I haven't researched yet and notes on things I need to check or ask Joe about. Sometimes this brain dump is into an outline; sometimes it's done separately. Needless to say, this is usually not a version that I want anyone else to see, unless I know that they understand what I'm doing.
I'll usually print out a copy because I can do comprehensive editing better on paper than onscreen. This is the most relevant reason to give to a manager who wants to know why I've printed it out.
The second draft is where I reorganise the material into a better order (if necessary), improve the wording, catch the typos, impose the company style, insert cross-reference fields, and so on. I may print out parts or all of it as I go along, especially if the process takes several days. This draft might still have holes in it ("insert details on foobar here, when Joe gets the info to me"), but may otherwise be suitable for someone else to look at, and it might become a formal "first draft" for review purposes.
Too much drafting, again imo, can (may not be, but
can be) a sign of being too careful for what is needed.
I agree, too much drafting *can be* a sign of being too careful. It can also just be a different way of working.
It can also be way too slow for a modern business.
Again, yes, it *can be* too slow. However, I find that *for me* tidying up as I go along usually takes *longer* than doing multiple iterations. But if I'm working for someone who is prone to demanding a copy of whatever I've got done, right now, then I clean up each section as I go, so what I do have looks good; this takes longer, but keeps the manager happy.
Jean Hollis Weber
jean -at- jeanweber -dot- com
The Technical Editors' Eyrie http://www.jeanweber.com/
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