I’ve mentioned before that I write all of my rough drafts by hand. One of the benefits of doing this is that ink is permanent, thus effectively neutralizing the urge to edit as I go. My main focus with my rough drafts is getting the story down on paper with as little critical thinking as possible.
I’m a firm believer in the power of editing and let quite a lot slide through in my rough drafts, but every now and then I do write something that’s so bad, it grinds the story to a halt. Sometimes it’s necessary to rewrite as I go, just to keep the story progressing. I average rewriting about five pages out of a hundred, which is more a testament to how forgiving I am than anything else.
Since transcribing onto the computer is an eventual necessity, that’s where I do the bulk of my rewriting. That’s when I start to think, “How can this be better?” I usually end up rewriting about 90%.
Ever since I started cleanly separating the steps of writing and rewriting, I’ve been able to finish books, rather than collecting files of unfinished beginnings.