1. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    What constitutes as a second draft?

    Discussion in 'Editing' started by GlitterRain7, Jul 10, 2018.

    Here's something I've wondered for a long time. If you have your first draft finished, and you go through and edit it from beginning to end, does that make the book in its second draft? Or is a second draft an entire rewrite from the very beginning, not using most of the sentences in your first draft? Or is this something that varies from person to person?
     
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  2. John Calligan

    John Calligan Contributor Contributor

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    Lots of people have different processes.

    My “second draft” is a plot fix, where I delete needless scenes, fix plot holes, or add needed chapters and scenes. Probably end up rewriting the first chapter.

    But I still haven’t edited or rewritten hardly anything.

    My third draft is for prose. My fourth is a read out loud pass. Then I give it to beta readers.
     
  3. BlitzGirl

    BlitzGirl Contributor Contributor

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    My opinion is a bit different since I've never actually finished an original story yet. I consider my second draft to be when I start typing the handwritten chapters in Word docs. Once I start typing them on a computer, my brain goes into "editing mode", so I catch bits that are weak, can add or remove whole scenes, and overall be more analytical about what's written down and how it all flows. My first draft is just "let's try to get from the beginning of the story to the end and try to connect all of the big scenes with stuff in between! Must get ideas written out!". But I haven't finished a story yet, so my first draft isn't even done. But starting the second draft while still writing the first does enable me to come up with new ideas that I can implement in later chapters in the first draft.

    As far as I am concerned, the third draft would then be when I go over the chapters I've typed up and make further changes.
     
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  4. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    It is an individual thing. In my case, I consider it a new draft when I reach a point where I don't want to make any more revisions until I've had a chance to read through it all. So, I write a story, compile from Scrivener, then read it through: that's one draft. Then I make a bunch of changes, compile it all again, and read the whole thing again: that's the next draft. Rinse and repeat. There are different "levels," e.g. the big structural edits, the prose edits, the proofreading... in my mind they all count as new drafts, except maybe the proofreading one if all I'm doing is fixing typos.
     
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  5. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I think it depends on the person. My first draft is my first draft all the way until I have it ready to send to betas; basically, as good as I can get it without input from others. And changes I make based on beta feedback become the second draft.
     
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  6. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    You should write your book at least 4 times.

    1. The Close-In Writing
    The basic method: You write a day’s worth of work (either fiction or nonfiction)—whatever that means for you. Next day, before you write anything new, you revise and edit the previous day’s work. This is the “close-in writing,” and becomes the first draft—the first time your write your book.

    2. The Close-In Edit
    When the entire first draft is complete, you go back through and, beginning with word one to the end, you revise and edit the entire manuscript on your computer. This is the “close-in edit,” and becomes your second draft: the second time you write your book.

    3. The Distance (or “Hand”) Edit
    Next, you print a hard copy of the second draft of your entire manuscript. Beginning with word one to the end, you hand-edit the hard copy, scrawling notes and profanities to yourself all the way through the margins. Then, using your hand-edit notes as a reference, you go back into your computer file and revise the manuscript as needed. This is the “distance edit,” and becomes your third draft: the third time you’ve written your book.

    4. The Oral Edit
    Finally, you print a new hard copy and read your entire manuscript aloud. Read it to the walls, to your spouse, to the patrons at Starbucks, to your dog, to the bowl of soggy Cocoa Puffs left over from breakfast. Doesn’t matter who’s in the room, only that you can hear yourself reading it. Start with word one and don’t stop until you read the last word. Yes, it may take you several days, but that’s OK. Keep reading every word out loud until you’re done.

    http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/there-are-no-rules/how-to-edit-your-book-in-4-steps
     
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  7. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    Everyone's input is interesting.
    I always thought that each time you go through the entire book from beginning to end counted as a draft. I never quite understood why someone would rewrite the entire thing again unless they had left it for a long period of time and when they came back to it they decided it was awful.
     
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  8. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    I pretty much only write one draft, it gets edited a bunch of times but I've never rewritten the whole thing. I think this terminology comes from the days before computers where every edit required typing the whole thing out again
     
  9. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    I have done just that--rewritten an entire book after several years away from it--and I definitely considered it more of a new novel than a new draft.

    This is a good point! And a harrowing thought. I'm old enough to remember having a typewriter in the home when I was a kid, but too young to have any real experience with what a PITA they must have been. :D
     
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  10. Komposten

    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Supporter Contributor

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    I'd be wary of using 'should'. As most of us know, writing is a very individual process. Some strategies work for some, other are better for others.

    I almost never go back and edit a scene before the full first draft is written (except for making notes of things to add/change when I later do editing), because I get stuck in the cycle of infinite editing too easily. When I have a full first draft I'll go back through and edit, but not always in a logical order (e.g. some scenes may be 1st draft, others 2nd, and a few 3rd). When I'm happy with the scenes I do a more thorough read-through of the whole thing to fix issues like inconsistencies etc (this is more inline with your point 2 and 3).
    I've never done 'Oral Editing'. Will give it a try and see if it works for me.

    (Note: I only write short stories so far.)
     
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  11. Alex R. Encomienda

    Alex R. Encomienda Contributor Contributor

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    My initial idea of a second draft is to edit things like word choices, uneeded scenes or sentences, continuity obvservations and seeking plot holes.

    What I actually did was a rewrite which is why my second draft has taken so long. There was so much shit that needed to be taken out. It was shit before. My goal now is to make it the shit.
     
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  12. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I don't count drafts. I will work on something and rewrite as needed and keep going as needed. It doesn't really matter how many drafts you do or how drastically different they may be from each other. You've got to give the story what it needs, and that's not something that is always obvious on the first or second or even third go around.
     
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  13. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    Once all the story's text is on the page, that's the first draft. Some of us have it in more shape than others (because we edit as we go) with one drawback among many being that the first draft takes longer. It takes a certain mindset. If you're mired in the sentence, you might want to relax and shoot more for word count so that you can push the story forward.

    Each full pass through the story is another draft.

    There's a shift in purpose too. The first draft is written for the author. The second draft is written for the reader.
     
  14. AmsterdamAssassin

    AmsterdamAssassin Active Member

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    To avoid getting mired in self-editing, I write the first draft on a typewriter, without correcting anything. When I have that stack of paper that is my finished first draft, I will read through it and make notes, then type it all up in the computer where I will insert all the handwritten corrections. Since I write several scenes/stories next to each other, I have multiple typewriters.
    [​IMG]
    When I would still write everything digitally, I would turn my draft into an ebook for my Kindle and read the draft on my e-reader, where I couldn't edit but had to stick to highlighting and footnotes that I'd use for the second draft.
    To distinguish between drafts and rewrites, I would label a project 1.1, then each draft would become 1.2, 1.3, 1.4. If I would do a rewrite, that rewrite would be 2.1 and each subsequent redraft of that rewrite would be 2.2, 2.3, et cetera.
    I've done both, but I would strongly advise to write out a first draft without corrections, copy it, name it 1.2 and redraft that 1.2 copy, so you keep the original 1.1 draft 'as is'.
     
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  15. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    I'd lose the will to live if I had to rewrite each manuscript once, let alone four times.

    This is how I see it.
     
  16. AmsterdamAssassin

    AmsterdamAssassin Active Member

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    I rewrote pretty much every single paragraph of my first novel, but I found that rewriting became less and less necessary with every new novel, because you get better at composing in your head.
     
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  17. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It's often been said that the first draft is just you telling yourself the story. I think this is true, whether you plan or "pants". The process for me is full of fits and starts, catching errors, changing my mind about things. But my main goal is laying the story down. I usually have a basic structure in mind, but I don't worry that much about it. I'm getting to know my characters, fleshing out their stories. Once I have the story laid out, I walk away for several weeks.

    I used to begin revision with copyediting and line editing, catching SPaG errors and the like. I still correct any errors I notice while reading through the first draft, but I'm focused on what kind of story it is I've told. I'm looking at the structure. Do I have a reasonable facsimile of three acts? How do they read? Have I effectively mixed description and internal monologue and action and dialogue (probably not; they're in clumps, so out with the red pencil and mark it up). What was my theme when I started? Have I remained true to it? Has anything unexpected crept in (probably, and that's not necessarily a bad thing)? If so, do other things have to change because of it? Where are the plot holes? After reading through several times, marking it up, I make corrections to the document. And then, I rewrite the opening so that it effectively asks the questions that the ending has answered. THEN, I go back and edit for SPaG, et al. And when it's finally done as well as I can make it, I call it my Second Draft and go hunting for beta readers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  18. Spirit of seasons

    Spirit of seasons Active Member

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    I never actually fished my first draft. Sure there was a climax battle and an “end” but it wasn’t the real ending.

    I originally wrote Evergreen in first person. I liked the naritive and Rose’s train of thought, though I soon found that I had multipule points of view and a diverse cast of characters. Lyla has a whole story to herself in first person later in part 2.

    After weeks of deliberation I rewrote the story into third person limited. I also added another point of view, Freya. I guess you could call that my second draft. It took awhile but I was amble to finish part 1 and two.
     

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