That Second Draft…

December is coming to an end which obviously as we wrap up the year I’d like to say with grand gusto because why not? Whoo-hoo I finished my very first draft!! Like I actually wrote something (I’m having a moment). You guys don’t know how long I’ve waited to write this story. I waited 10 years! T E N   Y E A R S. Yes, it has changed and grown just as I have and I couldn’t be more proud to finally have it down on paper.

During NaNoWriMo I did a full read thru of my manuscript, I noted the margins, I strikedthrough what I knew for a fact had to go. I also made notes in my notebook about things that needed to be taken out, fixed, added, you name it. I know–people–other writers say that one must read through it first and then go back and do all of what I just mentioned. Well, while that is ideal, I suppose, I went on and did all of the above because there is no place where these ‘rules’ are written. Who says you have to follow a certain way? No one that’s who. Every writer has their own method that works for them. I went online and looked up my favorite authors their websites were truly helpful. I recommend doing that. What I found interesting and wanted to try for my manuscript was numbering each scene in the entire manuscript and writing a summary for each. So I broke down each chapter into its scenes until I reached the very end. I summarized each scene and it was a major relief when I realized how useful this technique is because it definitely helped me SEE what needed to go, what needed more work, what was iffy and what was actually good. It also helped me see the places where things were happening AND where they were NOT happening.

Currently I am making those changes in the second draft. I discovered that I needed a completely new chapter 1 which I wrote with a feeling of wind in my hair compared to when I wrote Draft 1 chapter 1. Draft 1 was very much ‘write and don’t look back’ which surprisingly as I did my read through I noticed, yes the obvious muck BUT also some pretty cool gold nuggets that made me feel a lot better. Draft 2 is coming along there’s a lot looking back at my notes of the manuscript. Now, I’m doing all of this to make it the best version that I can right now. I am fully aware that there might be changes in structure (only,  I hope). I guess I don’t have to worry about that now.

So, I plan on welcoming the new year revising draft 2. I have a clearer vision for this draft than I did the first time around. I know my characters a lot better and the story has its parts…YAY. All I need to do now is structure, structure, structure, character, character, character, watch that word count. So far I know for a fact I need to cut 40,000 words. I’ll write a post about how I managed to keep to the word count AND add all the things.

In the meantime draft 2 here we go!


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