First drafts bite.
Well, I'm not sure about everyone's first drafts, but I'm pretty sure about mine. They bite. They are wildly uneven, too short, too long, too slow, too fast-paced, convoluted, boring, and silly. Some of the character's names are stupid, and I find the people I’m writing about do a lot of nodding, shrugging, snorting, and weird things with their eyes. The prose is drab and lifeless, and the sentences hardly whisper, let alone sing. When I go back and re-read what I've written, sometimes I get nauseated.
Like I said, my first drafts bite.
But, with a number of completed manuscripts under my belt (and a few safely stowed under my bed), I know what to expect, and I'm not too worried. I always feel this way as I slog through the first draft of anything I've written. Before I'm finished, I'll probably go back through and change out every word two or three times (or more). I'll move sections around, re-order whole scenes, and change characters' names until I get them just right. Maybe I'll birth siblings or kill off parents or rescue an orphaned puppy. Careers will change, cars will be traded in for newer (or older) models, households will move, and I may even transform a male into a female (no surgery required!). Thank goodness for the global find/replace command in WORD.
Change is the only constant.
Sometimes when I look back on a first draft, I don't even recognize it. Believe me, that's a good thing.
There is one saving grace about a first draft--you get to keep those rare gems you find in the muck. You know, those rare instances when you've (accidentally) turned a great phrase or hit upon the perfect rejoinder or penned the wittiest snatch of dialogue ever. That's when you realize what first drafts are for. Of course, without a first draft, how could you ever have a second draft?
By the way, I'm about a third of the way through a first draft.