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Second draft

(6 Posts)
Bitofeverything Sun 04-Sep-16 23:30:48

How comprehensive does this have to be? People seem to talk about a complete rewrite. Is that what everyone does?

ImperialBlether Mon 05-Sep-16 00:21:27

No, I suppose it could mean a rewrite, but it doesn't have to. It's hard to say without seeing it!

You need to look at certain things. Does the story arc work? Is it too heavy at the beginning and then faltering towards the end? Do you need all of the characters? Is it clear why each character is there? Does each chapter end at a point where the reader will want to move on? At the start of each chapter, does the reader immediately understand where it's set, when it's set, who's involved? Etc etc!

I would get that straight before dealing with individual sentences and whether you've repeated words etc.

Bitofeverything Mon 05-Sep-16 10:13:08

Thanks! I just read some blogs where it suggested that you put aside the whole first draft and then wrote the whole thing again without looking at it. Seemed quite extensive!

ImperialBlether Mon 05-Sep-16 10:34:46

That's ridiculous! That's not what a second draft is.

I think it's easiest to write the first draft just for the story. For myself, if I write more quickly, it gives me confidence (rather than stopping and staring into space) - occasionally I'll type in capitals, "Make this better!" etc - the purpose is to get the story down.

So for me, the second draft is making sure the structure of the story works. There's no point in rewriting the whole thing (as you were told) - you could end up with a different story anyway!

Once the story's alright, I tend to go through and check each scene at a time - does it achieve what I want it to? Have the characters developed, etc?

Bitofeverything Mon 05-Sep-16 11:23:51

That's really helpful - thank you so much. I so enjoyed whipping through the first draft - and now feel like I am bumping down into reality. Because it needs more work - but it's harder to sort it! Thanks again

Spaghettidog Tue 06-Sep-16 18:21:22

Having said that, I know writers who do start subsequent drafts in a blank document, and I have done that myself once where I got bogged down in detail, time schemes etc, and what I needed was to just tell the story to someone from scratch. I agree it's pretty extreme, but it has its uses, for some people anyway.

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