Thursday, February 24, 2011

Draft Two...Fix Up Time

Recently I finished the first draft on my current WIP. Thanks and appreciation go out to all of those fabulous snow days we had in January and February. I took advantage and was amazed at just how much I was able to accomplish.

Now with the first draft completed I just need to go back and fix it all. That's not so hard right? I wish! This to me is the hardest part. The first draft? Not so much. For the first draft I write and ignore my inner editor. Or at least I try. The second draft on the other hand...this is the part where I start to hyperventilate and get overwhelmed with the little things.

So first I will let it sit and have one of these...

Or maybe some of this...

Oh, and last but certainly not least I must have this...

Now I am ready. Maybe. Possibly.

So what does jumping off into the ever stressful second draft look like for me? Everyone is different, but for my second draft I grab my to do list which consists of everything I need to fix. This list comes together during the first draft so that I don't stop and nit-pick right then and there.

My lists consists of the following:

Repetitive or Down Right Bad Writing-It's there, I won't lie. This is the place where I clean up that mess.

Pacing-I can usually tell when a scene is moving fast or dragging out forever. Instead of rewriting, adding/cutting during the drafting phase, I do it here.

Plot or Character Inconsistencies- The more I delve further into the ms, the more I notice inconsistencies with my characters. Things they would not do or say. I also look out for the little things that don't quite mesh in the plot during this run through.

Clarifying or Adding Description-I love to describe things. Everything. I want the reader to have as vivid an image in their mind as I do. What's the problem then? Too much of a good thing can get really old. So I go through and fine tune the necessary descriptions. Those that move the story forward. Anything extra that does not add to the plot or characters gets cut. Even if I love it.

Well there you have it, the partial method to my madness. Of course this is only step one. I won't even attempt to go any further today. Do any of you wonderful people out there have any other suggestions for this stage of you ms? I would so love to hear them!

10 comments:

Laurel Garver said...

I love the idea of keeping a running list of future fixes while drafting. I got so bogged down revising as I wrote on my first book that I don't want to repeat that process and hope to try a new approach.

And I love, love, love Elizabeth Lyon's Manuscript Makeover for guiding the revision process.

Lindsay said...

First, yay to finishing the first draft. So exciting -- I can't wait to read it :)

Love your way of second drafting. I tend to go through looking for the same things. I also like to find music for my playlist that has the mood I want in the scene/chapter. I play it on repeat while I edit.

ketch1714 said...

Congrats on finishing your first draft!!! I'm getting close to finishing my first draft of my second novel as well.
I tend to look for the same things you look for. I also add needed chapters and try to tie up any loose ends.

Catherine Denton said...

I loved seeing your method! I need to start taking notes during the first draft, that's brilliant!
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LTM said...

omg, Renae! LOL--I just finished round two revisions on my current MS in which I ate both a chocolate chip cookie, a handful of chocolate chips (!) and some coffee... sigh. We're all the same~ :D

Emy Shin said...

Those are really great things to do and look out for in the second draft. Good luck with yours!

Jess said...

Love your list of things to look out for~I'm adding them to my file for my own revisions, so thanks! I also look at chapter openings/closings to make sure they're strong.

Jen Daiker said...

You and I are alike! One point for the treats and one point for the first drafts!!!

Everything after that... no thank you. If only it were a tad bit easier!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

This is a great list and I think a fantastic starting point!! I usually have to go through and look for passive sentences and - like you said, lazy or flat-out bad writing. Sometimes my first draft is more to get the ideas out so I don't lose them and then I've got to go through and do the spit-shining:) Thanks for helping me to 100 followers yesterday:)

Jemi Fraser said...

I love first draft writing too - so much joy and fun!

I always have to go back in and add description - I never have enough!