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Is making my rough draft public a good idea?

Baalf

Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
Right now, I have just been struggling with second-guessing and wanting to go back and change stuff in the current draft that I'm writing. I couldn't get anyone to read my first draft, or at least stick through it, although I got some decent advice. Some person on another Forum suggested making my drafts public so that people can help critique them, but I do want to publish my book someday. He mentioned that it only matters depending on how I want my book published, boy I don't remember the details. I'm just really not sure about the current state of my book and I would really like some feedback.

The first chapter of both of my rough drafts are currently on my furaffinity page. So far, that is all I have made public.
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
I, too, am writing a book and hinging all my hopes and dreams on it. I hesitate to even post potential titles over Discord in private messages to family members. I'm very paranoid, and again, hanging all my hopes and dreams on it so I'm not taking any chances.

Making your draft public will be great for feedback, undoubtedly....but it's a gamble. I'll go read your first chapter in a bit, though!
 

Baalf

Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
1st draft of Chapter 1

2nd draft of Chapter 1
 

Kuroserama

Just a fox.
Ahhh! I have read both drafts. I'm really interested in this world you are building! So I'm just going to give some brief tidbits because I am unsure of how thorough you would like me to be; I'll gladly elaborate if you'd like.

So. I am a bit conflicted because I actually liked the opening to your first draft a lot. I liked how I had no idea what was going on, just some weird creatures who talk who come up against this formidable being and then there's a fork lift?! Oh, a dream! The pacing was a lot of fun in that intro sequence and made for a good, powerful intro to your story.

You also have some amazing lines.. Please use Cliche Touche' somewhere along the way. I also love that Ricky calls his stomach 'tummy.'

There are some places where I feel descriptions should be more fleshed out, and other places they could be pulled back a bit. Your story has a lot of fantastical creatures but I had a difficult time painting that picture in my head because the descriptions were a bit brief. I really liked when you would weave descriptive pieces into the lines, like “both Buzz's big webbed feet and Casey's monkey paws had decent traction that allowed them to traverse water without slipping.” Doing more of those things would help paint the picture without bombarding information. And I wouldn't be afraid of putting those features in repeatedly, like in chapter 2, saying 'Buzz's webbed feet were rough from walking on the sidewalk' or something.

In my own writing, I struggle with balancing descriptions to paint the world I see in my head, but not create walls upon walls of text (because believe me, I could do it.) One of my favorite study guides is Harry Potter (book 1). “He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large mustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors.” Two sentences and you can already see these two people, as well as how they probably behave.

If you don't mind, I'm just going to change up this paragraph from draft 2 to illustrate what I mean:
"Casey was quite small, being only four feet tall, and had the head of a weasel topped with a baseball cap. Buzz, on the other hand, was over twice the size of Casey, and like Ricky, was a practitioner of Sumotora. Their work uniforms were plain gray button-ups."

"Casey stood a mere four foot tall. His weasel features poked out from beneath his baseball cap. Buzz was twice the height of Casey and like Ricky, was a practitioner of Sumotora. He looked down and watched his friend's whiskers twitch in the dim warehouse light as he silently counted the crates. Their dull, gray uniforms only added to the monotony of their work."

It may not be the best example; I'm still working on my craft, too!


As a last little note, I read your comment on your first draft, and after having read the drafts, I did not feel like it was a fat-fur centered story. It felt like an unlikely hero's story was about to unfold. In a small sense like Kung Fu Panda. I mean that in the best of ways.

Anyways, thanks for letting me read!
"See you later 'potagator," (Another great line!)

Also, if you aren't familiar with A Hero's Journey story template, I would suggest looking at that. That's definitely going to be a good format for you to use to structure your story.
 

Baalf

Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
Ahhh! I have read both drafts. I'm really interested in this world you are building! So I'm just going to give some brief tidbits because I am unsure of how thorough you would like me to be; I'll gladly elaborate if you'd like.

So. I am a bit conflicted because I actually liked the opening to your first draft a lot. I liked how I had no idea what was going on, just some weird creatures who talk who come up against this formidable being and then there's a fork lift?! Oh, a dream! The pacing was a lot of fun in that intro sequence and made for a good, powerful intro to your story.

You also have some amazing lines.. Please use Cliche Touche' somewhere along the way. I also love that Ricky calls his stomach 'tummy.'

There are some places where I feel descriptions should be more fleshed out, and other places they could be pulled back a bit. Your story has a lot of fantastical creatures but I had a difficult time painting that picture in my head because the descriptions were a bit brief. I really liked when you would weave descriptive pieces into the lines, like “both Buzz's big webbed feet and Casey's monkey paws had decent traction that allowed them to traverse water without slipping.” Doing more of those things would help paint the picture without bombarding information. And I wouldn't be afraid of putting those features in repeatedly, like in chapter 2, saying 'Buzz's webbed feet were rough from walking on the sidewalk' or something.

In my own writing, I struggle with balancing descriptions to paint the world I see in my head, but not create walls upon walls of text (because believe me, I could do it.) One of my favorite study guides is Harry Potter (book 1). “He was a big, beefy man with hardly any neck, although he did have a very large mustache. Mrs. Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbors.” Two sentences and you can already see these two people, as well as how they probably behave.

If you don't mind, I'm just going to change up this paragraph from draft 2 to illustrate what I mean:
"Casey was quite small, being only four feet tall, and had the head of a weasel topped with a baseball cap. Buzz, on the other hand, was over twice the size of Casey, and like Ricky, was a practitioner of Sumotora. Their work uniforms were plain gray button-ups."

"Casey stood a mere four foot tall. His weasel features poked out from beneath his baseball cap. Buzz was twice the height of Casey and like Ricky, was a practitioner of Sumotora. He looked down and watched his friend's whiskers twitch in the dim warehouse light as he silently counted the crates. Their dull, gray uniforms only added to the monotony of their work."

It may not be the best example; I'm still working on my craft, too!


As a last little note, I read your comment on your first draft, and after having read the drafts, I did not feel like it was a fat-fur centered story. It felt like an unlikely hero's story was about to unfold. In a small sense like Kung Fu Panda. I mean that in the best of ways.

Anyways, thanks for letting me read!
"See you later 'potagator," (Another great line!)

Also, if you aren't familiar with A Hero's Journey story template, I would suggest looking at that. That's definitely going to be a good format for you to use to structure your story.

It's nice to get a different opinion on the dream sequence. Some people I have shown that to weren't very fond of the dream sequence. That being said, it might help to get some more opinions.

From my personal experience, people strongly seem to dislike being told what the species of their characters are over and over, which is something I never got, but I ended up following that advice over the time. I also got some advice that previously my descriptions of the monsters were a little too lengthy and that I should keep them as brief as possible, but maybe you're right that I have been keeping them too brief. It's mostly just been giving you their names: but is a name that implies what the creature is the combination of good enough, especially when one of the creatures is called a "Hedgepossum" in spite of not being part possum?

As for it being a "fat fur" story, I must say that the big round guys are usually my favorite characters to create. That being said, I have stopped calling this book that since then because I feel like it's detracting from the book. I'm actually trying to be careful about how I write this book, and while the do often get into some shenanigans involving their bellies, It's usually the kind of stuff you would see in cartoons and is more playful than gross, plus it isn't over used.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
It's better to show only those you trust to both respect your work and be honest with you.
Presenting it to the world is asking for headaches.
 

Baalf

Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
It's better to show only those you trust to both respect your work and be honest with you.
Presenting it to the world is asking for headaches.

Yes, but I've heard that you are not supposed to show it to friends oh, because they might give you some biased feedback.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
Yes, but I've heard that you are not supposed to show it to friends oh, because they might give you some biased feedback.
If you don't have any honest/blunt friends, that sounds like a problem.
 

Baalf

Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
If you don't have any honest/blunt friends, that sounds like a problem.
That is just what I have heard. It's not that I don't trust my friends or anything.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
That is just what I have heard. It's not that I don't trust my friends or anything.

Generally speaking things one hears only applies situationally. If it doesn't apply, it doesn't apply.
 

HowlingDusk

New Member
What I can say here from experience is: Yes. Make your first draft public, but make sure that you revise and edit as much as you can before posting. You don't want to type something out and then throw it up for the world to see without letting it rest for a bit, going back to check for consistency, spelling, and grammar. I post chapters to my drafts all the time, because I can get some valuable feedback. I may even get a good suggestion for a subplot I hadn't considered that might make the story better as I go.

Strangers critiquing your work can be pretty horrifying, but that's something you'll definitely have to overcome to improve. Finding critique partners of a similar skill level (other writers who you can share manuscripts with) are a great way to get a fresh set of eyes on your M/S and you can learn from someone else. Looking at someone else's work will also help you identify issues you may have with your own writing as well.
 

Baalf

Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
What I can say here from experience is: Yes. Make your first draft public, but make sure that you revise and edit as much as you can before posting. You don't want to type something out and then throw it up for the world to see without letting it rest for a bit, going back to check for consistency, spelling, and grammar. I post chapters to my drafts all the time, because I can get some valuable feedback. I may even get a good suggestion for a subplot I hadn't considered that might make the story better as I go.

Strangers critiquing your work can be pretty horrifying, but that's something you'll definitely have to overcome to improve. Finding critique partners of a similar skill level (other writers who you can share manuscripts with) are a great way to get a fresh set of eyes on your M/S and you can learn from someone else. Looking at someone else's work will also help you identify issues you may have with your own writing as well.

What do you mean by revising your draft as much as possible?
 

HowlingDusk

New Member
What do you mean by revising your draft as much as possible?
I should clarify that this is my method of doing things, and it might not be for everyone. Some of what I suggest will work for pantsers, but might be unnecessary for people who plot and outline their stories before writing. I don't plot.

Before you post something, make sure you've done your best to take care of the spelling and grammar mistakes (this is usually the easiest). Go back and read the chapter (I'm assuming you post one chapter at a time for review) again, check for consistency: was the character holding a sword a paragraph ago, only to be holding a basket now? Are there missing words? Does this chapter flow with the last one, or does it seem detached (this is important for pantsers)? How's the dialogue, does it make sense and does it match the tone of the character from previous chapters? Did you forget to add something important? Sometimes when I go back and reread a chapter I just wrote, I may realize an entire scene doesn't work. I've deleted chapters and rewritten them because I didn't feel they were up to my standards (I recently deleted 3000 words and rewrote them because I didn't like the scenes). This is a major downfall to being someone who writes without planning.

That's revising. It doesn't take nearly as long as you think it does. Sometimes a writer won't rewrite something, but make a note for later so they can move on to the next chapter or scene. That works for some people, but for me, if I go back and refine my idea, it saves time in later drafts of the story.

Simply jotting something quick down and then expecting others to point out the mistakes a writer could have easily fixed on their own is something I see happen often. Those are simple things, like spelling and grammar. The actual developmental part--you may not have the eyes to see those issues yet. That comes with A LOT of practice and reading and getting feedback. Eventually you'll read something you just wrote and point out things beyond simple mechanics. If you do what you can, and make the draft as 'clean' as you can your first go-around, readers can focus on giving you feedback about your story and not the mechanics distracting them. This does not mean aiming for perfection in your first draft. No one would ever finish anything if we re-edited the chapter 50 times. Editing once and proofreading once is what you should aim to do and move on.

You may think "but that doesn't sound like a 'rough' draft to me," and you're right. That's why above I called it a 'first draft.' The rough draft is the sketch. You're putting together simple shapes and patterns to form an image. Refining the 'line work' of a rough draft into a first draft means putting together a clearer picture for a reader or your future self to understand.

I guess I should refine my answer above to Yes with an asterisk lol
 

Baalf

Will accept free hugs and tummy rubs.
I should clarify that this is my method of doing things, and it might not be for everyone. Some of what I suggest will work for pantsers, but might be unnecessary for people who plot and outline their stories before writing. I don't plot.

Before you post something, make sure you've done your best to take care of the spelling and grammar mistakes (this is usually the easiest). Go back and read the chapter (I'm assuming you post one chapter at a time for review) again, check for consistency: was the character holding a sword a paragraph ago, only to be holding a basket now? Are there missing words? Does this chapter flow with the last one, or does it seem detached (this is important for pantsers)? How's the dialogue, does it make sense and does it match the tone of the character from previous chapters? Did you forget to add something important? Sometimes when I go back and reread a chapter I just wrote, I may realize an entire scene doesn't work. I've deleted chapters and rewritten them because I didn't feel they were up to my standards (I recently deleted 3000 words and rewrote them because I didn't like the scenes). This is a major downfall to being someone who writes without planning.

That's revising. It doesn't take nearly as long as you think it does. Sometimes a writer won't rewrite something, but make a note for later so they can move on to the next chapter or scene. That works for some people, but for me, if I go back and refine my idea, it saves time in later drafts of the story.

Simply jotting something quick down and then expecting others to point out the mistakes a writer could have easily fixed on their own is something I see happen often. Those are simple things, like spelling and grammar. The actual developmental part--you may not have the eyes to see those issues yet. That comes with A LOT of practice and reading and getting feedback. Eventually you'll read something you just wrote and point out things beyond simple mechanics. If you do what you can, and make the draft as 'clean' as you can your first go-around, readers can focus on giving you feedback about your story and not the mechanics distracting them. This does not mean aiming for perfection in your first draft. No one would ever finish anything if we re-edited the chapter 50 times. Editing once and proofreading once is what you should aim to do and move on.

You may think "but that doesn't sound like a 'rough' draft to me," and you're right. That's why above I called it a 'first draft.' The rough draft is the sketch. You're putting together simple shapes and patterns to form an image. Refining the 'line work' of a rough draft into a first draft means putting together a clearer picture for a reader or your future self to understand.

I guess I should refine my answer above to Yes with an asterisk lol

Honestly, I have been kinda working in as I go along. I don't have a definitive plotline plan, but I am constantly thinking about ideas and things to put in the story.
 
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