1. EricaJRothwell
    Offline

    EricaJRothwell Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    London

    Writing your second draft. How do you do it?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by EricaJRothwell, Sep 5, 2012.

    After receiving a few more critiques on a piece I've posted to this site, I'm going to revise it.

    My question is, how do you go about revising? Do you re-write something entirely on a separate page (paper or digital) reading from your rough draft as a guide? Or do you just simply edited the actual rough draft on your computer, adding bits and taking away, etc? If so, do you save a copy of the rough draft?

    I've done both, re-writing on a new page and just simply editing the words on the same page and I'm not sure what works best for me.

    When I re-write the whole thing, I often tend to just repeat what I've already written before but when I edit an exsisting page it can get very messy, deleting words, etc and then not having the actual original to refer to.
     
  2. idle
    Offline

    idle Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    one of the hearts of Europe
    I write on the computer, both first draft and the following revisions, and use Google Docs which kindly saves the previous versions for me, so I don't have to worry about that. I just retype what doesn't work for me. Sometimes a few words, sometimes I rewrite a whole paragraph (and keep the previous version on the page until the new one is done, then delete it). I haven't written anything too long so I don't know how I'd go about any larger changes, this works for me.
     
  3. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I don't do a completely new draft by starting from scratch. I simply go through (in WORD) and make whatever changes I think are necessary.
     
  4. Chronicle535
    Offline

    Chronicle535 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Messages:
    101
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Offutt AFB, Nebraska
    I usually do my first draft on WORD, and make sure I have the most current copy saved to a flash drive, and so that way when I go to do my second draft I can have the first draft, and the second draft saved separately, so I can always go back to the original if the changes I made to the second draft don't quite meet my expectations. Of course for the final draft you should have someone criticize your work for a final check you can also use this process throughout the entire process of writing but make sure you use different people than in the first or second time to get a proper base to make your changes on. To get the base I like to use I ask a total of three people at a minimum to scrutinize my work per draft I write, so that way if those three people are able to agree on the changes then you know you have a good product.

    Hope this helps
     
  5. B93
    Offline

    B93 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2012
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    32
    I save off a copy every time I have put a large amount of effort into the piece. Saved in more than one place, of course, for safety. It is on the hard disk under a name that includes the revision date, on a pocket flash drive, and occasionally on a free service like Dropbox. Then I edit the master file.

    Retyping might have some advantage in freeing the mind to follow new tracks, but I don't find much benefit that way and will make lots of new mistakes in spelling, lost words, and punctuation. It's better for me to keep revising and correcting one master.
     
  6. ...
    Offline

    ... Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2012
    Messages:
    64
    Likes Received:
    2
    Only just done my first ever second draft of something. In many ways I found it much harder than the first. during the 1st draft I allow myself plenty of creative space and not allow myself to get bogged down with technicalities. 2nd draft is when I tackled those technicalities and the second draft actually took me longer than the first.

    As stated by others, I simply go through what i've already written and save the changes into a separate file, so that way I get to keep each draft. I'm actually into my 3rd draft right now and so far it is going well. I think 3rd draft, so far, seems to be more about getting the speech right and making sure the characters stay in character.
     
  7. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    i may print out a hard copy and work on that, or i may do the editing/revisions on the computer... depends on what the piece of work is and how much fiddling it may take...

    my best advice is to not lock yourself into one strict 'process' but to play it by ear from one project to the next... trust yourself to know what to do when the time comes and don't rely on what anyone else does, as being the 'right' or 'best' way... just do what works best for you...
     
  8. EricaJRothwell
    Offline

    EricaJRothwell Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    London
    This is how I feel about retyping to allow my mind to have some freedom as if I'm just editing I find it difficult and messy, but I suppose that's what writing's about. And you're totally right about hvae to keep going over the typos.
     
  9. EricaJRothwell
    Offline

    EricaJRothwell Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    London
    This is great advice.
     
  10. Kat Hawthorne
    Offline

    Kat Hawthorne Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2012
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    17
    I am a hardcore, full-on re-writer. I am currently in my fifth - and hopefully last - re-write. I find that once I have the "bones" of the story (which is all the first draft often ends up being) it frees my mind to explore. Once I know where my characters are going, I am able to tighten the plot, and hack the bits that aren't needed.

    I also like to make things more "pretty." The first go around is really just me getting the story out - meant for no one's eyes but my own. Each re-write, I polish my craftsmanship and story-telling.

    Yes, it is time consuming, but what's the rush? I am a re-writer to the max.

    Good luck
     
  11. Zombie Writer
    Offline

    Zombie Writer New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tennessee
    When I finished my first draft, I saved it and then did a copy/paste of each chapter and did the revision there. It made a difference because at least I wasn't having to remember what happened here or there in the time-line or who said what when. I went over each line and saw where the "mistakes" were (not including punctuation, grammar or other editorial stuff) in the story and revised as I read along. This took me roughly 2 months to do after finishing the first draft in it's entirety. The "third-draft" will only include the editorial mistakes' corrections.
     
  12. Danvok
    Offline

    Danvok Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    I follow this method as well, sums it up good.
     
  13. DoctorNovel
    Offline

    DoctorNovel Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    1
    Usually what I would do, I would look at the original and compare it to the critique and make ONLY the appropriate adjustments that have been critiqued.
    Subsequently I would re-read my work -- and then make any final adjustments..
    usually works for me..hope I helped?
     
  14. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    First, I save a copy of the draft. Always keep every draft, initial notes, research notes, as these are your best evidence in the event of a dispute over copyright ownership.

    Before I start editing, I set specific goals for the next draft. I'll always make spelling, grammar, or punctuation corrections, but setting a small number of specific revision tasks helps me stay focused. For example, if my read-through of the previous draft reveals an uneven pace, a revision goal will be to align dialogue and descriptions to the desired pace for each scene od the story. If the dialog seems lackluster, I'll set the goal to tighten and brighten the dialogue, and make sure each character's dialogue is consistent with my current perception of that character.

    If I see problems that fall outside the revision goals whilst editing the draft, I note them for a subsequent pass. It doesn't do to change revision goals in mid draft.
     
  15. TrinityRevolution
    Offline

    TrinityRevolution Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Guess, starts with M...
    A complete rewrite is advisable, because it sets you on a clear path... It's easy to create inconsistency editing one draft.

    I'm currently on my 3rd draft and glad I chose to begin from the start.
     
  16. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    On the other hand, creating a new draft from scratch provides the opportunity for fresh mistakes, even more so than adding new material to an existing draft.

    What works better for one writer may not work as well for another.
     
  17. peachalulu
    Offline

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    May 20, 2012
    Messages:
    3,829
    Likes Received:
    2,382
    Location:
    occasionally Oz , mainly Canada
    I always keep my first draft. I never know when it will come in handy. I re-wrote one of my books
    four times - 2 in the third person, 2 in the first person. Oddly enough, the first draft was the cleanest read!
    The other three overblown and over written.

    Before I rewrite I set the project aside for a while - a few days at least - so it's not too fresh on my mind.
    If it's too fresh you can skip over plot holes, or implausibilities.

    Then I read it over, making notes along the way - and correcting anything noticable that can be easily fixed
    - grammer, tighter sentence, spelling, wrong words.

    Glancing over my notes, I cut and paste scenes into clearly marked new documents and start
    fixing and rewriting. I generally don't write from scratch as it could turn into a whole new book
    and the editing/rewrite will be an endless cycle. But if a scene is stale I'll replace it. Even if it
    means the book will alter it's dirrection.
     
  18. Andrae Smith
    Offline

    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2,506
    Likes Received:
    1,404
    Location:
    Wandering
    I've actualy never saved my rough drafts... 0.0... I guess I'll have to get into the habit of doing so. But...eh... assuming I had saved the rough draft and copied it to a new document for the new draft, I typically don't start from scratch. I will usuall goo through and add to, cut from, or reword the original. if something is not working at all I use whats there an find ways to make it better. If, after all that, it still isn't working, then-- and only then-- I start to rewrite from scratch. I wait until then because it takes me that long before I decide that something really just isn't working and I develope a new vision. I'll be doing this for a full 300 page novel that really wasn't a novel so much as a growing writing project... I edited as much as I cuold, but now I have a new vision and I know my characters and I know everything this story needs-- well almost everything.
     
  19. tiffanylyn
    Offline

    tiffanylyn Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    What Cogito wrote is the way to go. I only discovered this method after reading through my writing in a general way, which wastes time, I believe. Have a focused goal.
     
  20. captain kate
    Offline

    captain kate Active Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Messages:
    876
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Cruising through space.
    I agree with mammamai on this one. Do what works for you. I know I take each chapter, put into a different file, and work on them that way, but that's what I do, doesn't mean anyone else has to do it that way. Just do what feels best for you and your creative abilities.
     
  21. The Crazy Kakoos
    Offline

    The Crazy Kakoos Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Bakersfield
    Another piece of advice, if you are having trouble with a second draft, would be to set it aside for a while. When you come back to it later you may have a fresh view of it
     

Share This Page