Honestly, when I’m under pressure, I just need to sit and keep writing. I remind myself that this is not the final draft, but I need to start somewhere. The goal is to put out the first crappy draft so I can move into revisions. Then I usually read the piece out loud and from that experience I find a dozen areas that need work. So I dive in on draft two and take care of those issues. Then I read it aloud again and find the weak spots. Around the fourth or fifth time of reading it aloud it really starts to flow. If I can, I like to then put it down for 24 hours. If time is not a luxury I submit the draft and look forward to comments from my client, editor, business partner or wife, whoever it’s going to. I let them help me find the areas that still need work and then I revise again. For something that is important, I have been known to revise a dozen times or more.
The first draft is a BRAIN DUMP.
The second draft is about making each section COHESIVE.
The third draft is about the overall FLOW of the piece.
The fourth draft is about PACING and RHYTHM.
The fifth draft is about SUBTLETY.
The sixth draft is about REINVENTION.
The seventh draft is about EPIPHANY.
The eight draft is POLISHING.
The ninth draft is PROOFREADING.
The tenth draft is when someone probably needs to take it away from me.