My first one was early and I found this fantastic quote the other day and one can't have enough inspiration right?
"There are certain things you accept going in that you're going to do a little too much to make sure you do enough."
I watched The Avengers for the second time yesterday, and then, because I liked it so much, I watched it again with Joss Whedon's audio commentary. When he said the above quote it struck me as everything a writer needs to know about editing in a single sentence.
He's talking about one of the introductory scenes were the avengers are being introduced to the audience one by one. It's about exposition and scenes that were cut because they were redundant. In the first draft and first shooting etc, one doesn't know where everything goes and affects other scenes; 'the domino effect' is the phrase he used. You want to explain everything as often as you think is necessary to make sure that it is in there in the first draft.
The first draft is called a 'rough draft' for a reason; IT'S ROUGH. There will be scenes that need to be expanded, scenes that need to be removed, the pacing could be too slow or too fast, characters will not be as developed as they will be in the final version, etc. When writing the first draft of anything (a novel, a paper, a blog post) I console myself with 'the first draft is always crap'. This way I am not crushed by the awfulness I created and lose confidence in myself as a writer. The fourth draft could be drastically different. The quote is about acknowledging that; you're going to do a lot of editing. "It's the nature of the beast."
The take away from the quote and this blog post is that an author should not get attached to the first draft because it will change by the final draft. It might be radically different from the first draft and an author should not be afraid to make those changes in order to make the story better.
P.S. I found so much good advice in the rest of the commentary, I'll probably make a few more posts with them. Make a series of it.