A dear writer friend of mine sent me David Michael Kaplan’s book called Revision; A Creative Approach to Writing and Rewriting Fiction. On page 5, he compares writers to musicians. A cellist or bel canto singer might have talent and craft, but without endless hours of practice. . . he’ll never get to Carnegie Hall.” Writers need to practice, “which is the revision of his story or essay or novel until it is, in Goldilocks’ words, “just right.”
If we writers are “content with the first draft, the world will know it; if content with one better than the first but still not the best it could be, our fellow writers will know it; if content with one almost perfect excerpt for a few little glitches, perhaps, with luck, only we will know it.”
Kaplan reminds us that Tolstoy wrote War and Peace eight times. Raymond Carver had done twenty or thirty drafts of a story and never fewer than ten or twelve.