Here are my thoughts on immediately revising a first draft: Don’t do it. Just don’t. Let it sit for a while. Take the time to work on other projects, get caught up on your to read list…do anything but revise that infantile draft. I say this with a heavy heart because that seemed to be the first and only goal I had with my completed rough drafts. Polish, perfect, and publish. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.
My reasoning behind this revelation comes from my own experience. One in which I dissected many stories three or four times over because I started revising too early. I wanted to make this baby perfect and the end result was much less glorifying. I killed the creativity and essence of the entire story just because I had been dealing with it for too long and honestly, it didn’t seem like that original of an idea anymore. So every single critique made me feel like I had no business trying to pass my work off as a novel. Luckily for me, I followed the advice of a fellow blogger and saved a copy of my first draft “as is” in a separate area. That has since been my salvation.
I recently reread one of my first drafts (after roughly about a year of having it finished) and guess what? I like it now. Crazy, considering I was about to throw it away because it didn’t meet my standard of perfection. So again I say, leave it alone. First pat yourself on the back for finishing a rough draft, but then walk away.