"By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this." — Roald Dahl
Well, I am not quite this bad but it does have me wondering about how many times a novel is generally rewritten until it is suitable for submitting. This author even has a formula:
- vomit draft - let it fly baby
- Story arc pass - main story subplots - overall structure
- MC & supporting character arcs - including character development & embellishment
- grammar/punctuation pass & bad habit pass (adverbs/tense/sentence variety/word choice)
- Hard copy read - make corrections
- Kindle read - make corrections
OUT TO BETAS
- Including Beta notes pass
- Holistic read - wearing my audience hat
- Corrections from Holistic read
Eventually, redrafting will just spoil the novel - there is a danger that the story you set out to write ends up so ‘surgically’ enhanced that it no longer resembles the original story – the intrinsic core of the story has been lost.
But dozens isn't practical, especially given my advanced age. Aside from as many as it takes to find a publisher, does any one know the MEAN number of drafts for a novel?