1. Taylor3
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    Taylor3 Member

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    How do you do a 2nd draft?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Taylor3, Jul 27, 2010.

    For people that have finished a novel, do you have any suggestions for how to work on a 2nd draft?

    I have no idea how to do this. Even my "how to write" books don't really talk about how to go about working on your second draft. Everything is focused on the initial process of writing.

    thanks!
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Just go back and edit the first one. Change what needs changing.

    I even work on this while writing, on more of a chapter-by-chapter basis before even finishing. But if you decide to add an extra subplot or something, you'll have to rearrange some other parts of the story to make it fit better.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    First off, SAVE A COPY OF YOUR FIRST DRAFT!

    Take some time to let the first draft settle. Then begin to critique it mercilessly. Some people prefer to print out the manuscript and mark it up with a red pen, then go back and revise it online. Others prefer to use the change tracking features of Word to annotate and make corrections. The latter has the advantage of saving paper, and the corrections you make are immediately part of the document. Marking a paper manuscript has the advantage that you review your changes as you type them in. Some changes may not sound as good the second time through.
     
  4. BlueWolf
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    BlueWolf Banned

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    My sequel needs it - boy does it need it!

    Thankfully, I have plenty of time to simply push it to one side and literally forget about it, so that when I pick it back up again, it will (hopefully) be with a fresh pair of eyes, so that what doesn't work will leap off the page/screen.

    Of course, in the intervening period, I may come up with new ideas that could be either implemented into the story, or replace other things.

    Regardless, it won't be easy, but needs must.
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I approached it differently. I rewrote from scratch, without referring to the first draft at all, I found it easier not to be cluttered by the first story. I went on to do a third draft in the same way and then combined the best of all three. I have a huge amount of story and ideas I didn't use. I have also written short stories to practice the concepts and descriptions I couldn't get quite right in the story. Or just to further explain some of the ideas to myself.
     
  6. Taylor3
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    Taylor3 Member

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    thx everyone! Please keep the ideas coming if you have them.
     
  7. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    If you want me to review anything, you can PM me for my email address and send it as an attachment.

    Think of it this way: why do you need a second draft? You got the story out, now what do you need to do to it to make it the way you want it? Target those parts, go back to them and fix them. :)
     
  8. Taylor3
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    Taylor3 Member

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    ok maybe I will do that. thanks!
     
  9. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wait 3 months. Write on something different during that time. Then go back and read it and edit.

    My first edit usually is to just mercilessly trim 10% off the word count since it helps me choose and focus on what elements in the story is the most important for me.
     
  10. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    I like to print a hard copy. I edit it by hand, eliminating what needs to come out, correcting grammar/spelling, checking for plot holes, suggesting new scenes, etc. I also use a notebook where I detail chapter by chapter major changes.

    Then, I make a copy of the rough draft on the computer, rename it second draft and go in and make all of the changes that need to be made.

    Repeat as necessary.
     
  11. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It depends on how you work. Some writers work by accumulation and some by editing down, and some others (like me) work both ways. When I start a first draft, I usually haven't planned everything out scene-by-scene, so the first draft is a feeling-in-the-dark draft. That means there's a lot of material in there that can just be cut completely - whole scenes or groups of scenes get cut because it turned out that they weren't part of the story. But holes need to be filled, too, so I have to write sometimes large amounts of new material in the second draft to bridge over gaps I didn't know I needed to bridge in the first draft.
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    1. save it...

    2. print it out [should be double-spaced]...

    3. settle yourself in a comfortable place with a red pencil/pen and first read it only as a reader, as if someone else wrote it... then read it a second time, to find mistakes and things you want to add/delete...

    ...that's what i do and what most other professionals and seasoned writers do...
     

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