Not every rough draft is created equal. There are different ways of mind when writing the rough draft. Depending on your style, maybe your draft has taken forever to write. You just want to get it as perfect as possible. Or maybe the rough draft is just a chance to get the ideas on the page and get it over with as quickly as possible. I have found it to be an either/or situation. Either you want the rough draft to be as perfect as possible, or you try to get it out of the way and focus on getting the general idea on the page.
In my first book “Rhinos” I wanted the rough draft to be perfect. I gave myself no wiggle room to move on from a scene and fix it later. I only moved on from the scene when I thought it to be perfect. Of course, nothing was ever perfect upon re-reading it in the revision stage, but there was less of a overhaul that needed to be done. Working so hard on my rough draft allowed me to focus a bit more on fixing the stuff that was there instead of having to re-work and add to the book as a whole. The only problem with this method of going about the rough draft is that it took me a year to write just the draft.
On my second book I allowed myself way more freedom to move on from something I knew wasn’t great. This draft only took me four months to write. While I was happy to be going on to the revision stage so quickly, after a read through of the book I realized this draft needed some pretty big additions and there were many problems in the speed of it. It was too choppy and read too fast. There was only about thirty pages where the book’s speed felt right and read how I wanted it to. This was not such a big problem with the rough draft of “Rhinos.” In the end, I felt a bit overwhelmed in how much overhaul work was needed to get this draft up to par.
In the end, giving so much freedom to create an “okay” draft has given me a lot more work in the revision process. On the flip side, my attempt at writing the best rough draft possible had rewarded me as I felt the draft not too far from what I wanted it to look like. In my opinion, I would spend the extra time on the rough draft so your first shot goes farther.