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From 1st to 2nd Draft

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by ade625, May 29, 2011.

  1. ade625

    ade625 Scribe

    So I finished the very rough first draft of my first novel a fair few months ago (though it was in no way my first attempt at writing a novel) and now that I have oodles of spare time in the summer, am trying to redraft it into something more cohesive and smooth.

    I've been having a few difficulties with that, although I'd rather not focus on that in this thread.

    Instead, I'd like to pose an open question. How do you guys go about redrafting? And how many of you have also managed to reach this stage?
  2. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Auror

    Every writer, I think, will tackle the process a bit differently. Thus, there isn't a right or a wrong way to go about it. Some methods might be more efficient than others but it doesn't matter of the job doesn't get done. Pick up ideas from others that might work for you--a good idea.

    Picking up from the first draft being completed: What has worked for me is that I go through the first draft, reading it and I make corrections as I go. I fix grammar and typos, sure. But I am looking for minor switches in names and places, watching the timeline and tracking it to see if it fits as intended, are there plot holes or threads that need to be trimmed or re-woven back into the plot. Things like that.

    I have a spiral notebook that I go through and jot ideas and notes of what needs to be attended to that I cannot take care of as I am going through. It's pretty easy to search a key word or something in the chapter to find the right location as the story is pretty fresh in my head.

    Then, after that is taken care of, I go through the manuscript again and find minor gaffs and concerns and correct them, along with grammar, punctuation, capitalization. I cut and trim what isn't needed. Make wording more efficient, remove passive voice where it makes sense. Things like that. I also work on character voice and consistency. This is where I strive to make sure each character's dialogue is representative of them. I check word choice and speech habits and recurrent phrases.

    That's why a writer should really enjoy the piece they're working on--Because they're gonna be reading and rereading it multiple times. That's also a hint as to why many authors don't sit down and read their novels once they're published. Plus, they're busy working on the next one. :)
  3. Heavy Thorn

    Heavy Thorn Dreamer

    For me, a second draft means exactly that. With my last novel, I wrote it and then left it for a few months. Then I returned and read it, and I wrote down some notes about major plot work that needed done. I closed the Word document, opened a new one, and began fresh.

    I originally tried to salvage lines and sections that I really liked, but I find that really bogs down my process and ultimately lowers the quality of the writing and completely tosses any fun I have working on the project anymore.

    So now I leave the document closed. The way I see it, if I could write something that good once, I can write something just as good the second time. In the end, I'll take the two manuscripts, compare them, and see if I want to mix-and-match. It's a long process, but I feel it will be worth it.
  4. meylaran

    meylaran Acolyte

    I'm just now approaching the first revision of my story. So, first think of the re-vision as a re-seeing of your story. You should definitely have let it sit for at least a couple of weeks before going back to it. Longer, if you can. I left mine for almost three months while I started back to school, but when I reopened it, I immediately saw so many things that needed correction that I didn't see while I was so close to it before. Now, I just put on my 'soundtrack' (all the music I collected while writing) and start reading, making small corrections in the manuscript and making notes on plot points to clear up, ideas that need to be included and things that can come out. If it doesn't move the story along, it gets cut. But, only put into another folder - I don't throw any of it away - you never know when an idea will come in useful! I had a few readers/critique partners in the process and they contributed their own notes and I always make sure to review those as well.

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