About five years ago, I attended the SCBWI Conference in Kansas City. The keynote speaker, an excellent author, compared a completed rough draft to a block of marble before a sculptor touches it. While I understand the analogy as meaning the rough draft is the raw material, and it's subject to MUCH change--this analogy doesn't work for me personally.
I am a more meticulous drafter (read "slower" drafter). I'm not sure if it's the best way, but it works for me. If I were to use the block-of-marble analogy, I'd say the rough draft was the block of marble after it had taken on a very vague form of what it was going to be.
A better analogy for me would be cake. (I have actually analogized with cake before, but with a different approach. This was before I had ever written a rough draft. But it's cake, it works, and it tastes good--taste obviously being pertinent to this blog post.) Last summer, I made my son's birthday cake. This was my rough draft:
Now that "rough draft" took several hours. There was the mixing and doubling of the cake batter (with some mistakes I had to fix), baking at just the right temp with the pans surrounded by moist baking strips, leveling of the cake, mixing of the frosting, frosting said cake and smoothing it out with a smoother so that the fondant could go on top with the fewest bumps possible. It took a lot of work, and it was definitely more than a block of marble. But it was still...ugly.
After hours of "revisions" this was my final result:
I was pretty proud of my little Lego cake, but I must disclaim it a bit. I had a friend mentoring me along the way. I didn't know a thing about levelers or smoothers or baking strips before she came into my life. Also, all of those tools on the table are hers. With the right tools, molds, mentor, HOURS of time (I will probably never do it again), and a little bit of perfectionism (okay, a lot)...you can make an epic Lego cake, too.
And...bringing it back to writing. My current draft for TFFP is taking a while to build. Participating in Camp Nanowrimo is giving it a lot of momentum, but it'll likely not be completed by month's end. However, when it's completed, I'm excited to finally have it all ready for the fondant. And fondant is by far the best part (the best part to decorate with, not eat--because regular icing always wins).