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So I’ve finished my second draft!
I’ve cut out 7,000 words, I’ve rewritten the bits that didn’t make sense, I’ve refined the bits that lacked pace and steadied the bits that rushed forward incoherently. In short, I’ve got a solid second draft.
And that’s what it is – a second draft, not the finished article. Because although I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve achieved so far, I just know there’s a way to go before it’s ready to be paraded around in the paddock for the viewing pleasure of agents and publishers.
So what have I learnt during this second draft phase?
Don’t have actors gasping, whispering and twirling about all the time. It’s like actors overacting – it hams up the scene where you don’t want it to, gets in the way of the story and the characters, and distracts the reader.
It’s a tough call, but scrapping those needless sentences and words that don’t really add anything is essential to refining the draft. Cutting out the waffle has helped me step up the pace.
Get on with It:
Don’t avoid the editing, it won’t do itself! I started off hating the editing process, and ended up, well, not loving it, but certainly appreciating its benefits. The key for me was ‘little and often’ – doing a bit everyday, even if it was only a page. Often I found I’d do much more than I intended.
It might not be the most ecologically friendly method (offset by using recycled paper and recycling my paper notes) but printing out a chapter at a time and editing it with a red pen really helped my process. It all looks so pretty on the screen that I found it harder to be ruthless in my editing, also I found that handwriting amendments (and crossing them out until I found the right words) made the process flow more.
Set yourself a target and share it with your writing buddies:
I set myself a target date to finish the second draft. It was the 5th June. I did overrun by a couple of weeks, but that didn’t matter. What mattered was that the target stayed in my mind (I’m very goal driven!) and was pinned up on my desk, in my diary and I’d committed to the goal by sharing it with my writing buddies. There’s nothing like a bit of peer support to motivate you to keep going.
So, what next? Well, a couple of days breather, a few new blog posts (it must feel awfully neglected!) and then on with the third draft. In the meantime I’m getting feedback on my second draft to help shape my plan of action for the next round of revisions.
And you know what? Editing is definitely growing on me – I’m actually looking forward to the third draft!
- Today I Start Draft Three (gabrielletheauthoress.wordpress.com)
- The Skeleton Draft (grantwamack.wordpress.com)
- >Back to the Reason for the Blog: The Writing! (ckgarner.wordpress.com)
- How to Talk Yourself Down From the Ledge (doingitwritenow.wordpress.com)
- It is Finished. (copywrite1985.wordpress.com)
- Creative Writing Process (kbergene.wordpress.com)