Re: First draft or more polished?

Can't answer your question but I've got two points worth saying.

First, why are you writing? You may want to test yourself via feedback or share a story you want others to enjoy, or etc. So... RR can help you, and maybe your first draft is all you need (but it's probably not).


The other day I was challenged when I saw Chris Fox's writing process on his channel. To summarise, he writes in sprints without editing to get the full book down, start to end. Then he edits. He does it because, to paraphrase, writing requires creativity while editing requires critical thinking and if you switch you'll kill your momentum. For him a "first draft" is an automatic transcription of his voice.

You can see I'm going, so I won't say more on it.

Also, on this website many authors simply publish five or so chapters behind what they've written to. They use that time and space to fix things. Then they back edit as much as they choose to after publishing (usually after the reviews come in). I think that's a decent compromise. It's what I do.  But I've barely started, so I'm not the one to say if it works.

One more note... if the alternative to not publishing the first draft is crippling to your writing speed, publish it. RR is a friendly place.

Re: First draft or more polished?

It depends on what you consider a draft. Some people can write good stories without much working on them, while others have problems getting below the 50 typos per page limit (and no, that isn't a joke - there was someone in my class in school thirty years ago who had that problem, and we're talking advanced classes/eleven school years here).

If your first draft is below a certain quality level then you shouldn't publish it but have a beta-reader going over them before publication.
If you're sure of your quality then you can publish first write - about half the chapters for my "General Core" story are first drafts, I only had to rework the first half dozen due to a mistake in the plot and wrong pacing.

If you never wrote something however, let someone else (no family member or friend) check your first draft before deciding however. Friends and Family will usually tell you that even your worst crap is perfect because they don't want to hurt your feelings, and you'll need a neutral opinion before risking publication - because if your first story is of bad quality, that will drive away potential readers.