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  1. Spurs06

    Spurs06 Member

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    Writing a second draft.

    Discussion in 'Revision and Editing' started by Spurs06, Jul 26, 2019.

    I am about to start work on a second draft of my novel. I've read through many articles, but I would love to hear some of your experiences and what advice helped you out the most.
     
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  2. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Set it aside for a while to get your mind clear of it. Or you'll never spot the flaws.
    Make copies.
    Never alter the only draft.
    Read through to figure out if there's any plot holes, real big plot boo-boos or anything that doesn't make sense and
    hightlight them because those will need fixing. You'll also need a read through to see if your sideplots hold up, if the characters make sense, whether or not any scenes drag, whether or not some scenes need to be shift and or moved to intensify the action.
    I'm working on my second draft and I used the colored highlighter to go through a copy of the draft to highlight most important details, scenes that work, scenes that draft, duplicate information, etc. It's been hectic but it works.
     
  3. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    I write with computer, but I read my texts from paper.

    You see text in different way in monitor and when printed. It helps to spot mistakes & mannerism.

    Mark your corrections to paper print. Execute them with computer.

    Raw material is for working.
    First draft is for you.
    Second draft is for readers.
    Third draft is for haters.
    Fourth draft is for agent/editor/...
    Fifth is for publishing & audience.

    Use alpha readers for emotions and beta readers for polishing.

    I wrote a 5% outline (like shrinking 300 pages to 17 pages ) with my previous work. And I made a second draft from it. It was much easier to check structure & subplots from short outline/treatment/whatever than from the whole text.

    I hope something in my babbling helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
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  4. The Piper

    The Piper Contributor Contributor

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    With Alan on this. I type up my draft then print it off, chapter by chapter, and work through with a yellow highlighter and a pen to correct/edit. When I'm typing up those corrections, I call that round 2.5 because I usually find that translating it page-to-screen, I find even more things to correct. Once I've done that for every chapter (and created a second draft) I'll ask for opinions, and do the same again based on critique etc. but focus on the sections I'm more worried about. I'll then give the whole thing a full read and find any holes, then go back to one last chapter-by-chapter edit.

    It seems like a lot of work, but knowing I'm going to spend so much time editing means I can spend that first write just... writing. If I write a bad section, I mark it, and I come back to it when it's printed. Never before.

    Other advice, read it out loud, read it standing up. Hold the page in your hand and stand up, that's all. Give it a go. Dialogue, at least, should definitely be read aloud. If you have a (very) tolerant friend, let him/her read it to you and make notes whenever you hear something you don't like.

    Different things work for different people. But if you find yourself getting stuck or hung up on a certain edit, just try something new.
     
  5. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Just a quick comment on this part of @The Piper 's post ...If your tolerant friend trips up as they read your stuff out loud, that is a good place to consider re-writing or re-punctuating. Something isn't hitting their eye the way you intended it to.

    In my opinion, when you start editing it's a good idea not to tackle too much, too soon. Maybe read through first for story flow problems, spot faulty transitions, look for plot holes. Then read through again for areas where you could sharpen up the characterisations, or do more foreshadowing. Then look for places where you re-state things, and could maybe cut it down a bit. And so on....

    While you can, of course, correct grammar and spelling and formatting issues at any time, take care NOT to get too focused on these during your first editing forays. It's too easy to miss seeing the forest for all the trees. There isn't any point in meticulously proofreading something you might later want to throw away or change.

    Try to get the big issues dealt with first. THAT is where @peachalulu 's suggestion about distance comes into its own. What you'll see, if you start editing too soon, is what you intended to write. What you will see, if you wait long enough, is what you actually wrote. That's when editing really begins.

    You aren't wasting time by waiting. You'll be wasting time if you're rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. You'll feel (and look) like you're 'working' hard, but the result won't matter because the whole ship is sinking. Plug those holes, and THEN play with the deck chairs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
  6. Alan Aspie

    Alan Aspie Banned Contributor

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    Some similarities, some things different.

    I also work with a pen and yellow highlighter. But I might use also red and green.

    Yellow = Pay attention, correct this, think again.
    Red = Bad or incorrect. Take this away.
    Green = Here is something good or important that needs more room or attention. Focus more to this.

    I write my raw and background material as I see it best. SFD (Shitty First Draft.)... I write it in chapters or episodes.

    In my project SH I had about 150 pages of supportive material and a bit less than 300 manuscript pages long story. (Manuscript page wordcount very near usual book page wordcounts.) Current project LH... Big part of raw material goes via rewriting to SFD.

    After SFD is ready I let my alpha readers read it. I wanna hear only about their emotional reactions. They are not allowed to comment text at all, only their emotions and feelings while reading.

    Then I write that 5% outline and do structural work via rewriting it. Then I do those structural and emotionally important corrections which need to be done.

    After that I unite separate episodes/chapters to one book.

    I think it's easier to do structural work before uniting. And after structure (plot, subplots, character arches, storyworld arches...) are ok, it's easier to work with one united text than several separate.

    After that it's just rewrite, edit and polish until it's ready.

    This is the structure of my current workflow. I can't say what it looks like 3-5 years from this day.
     
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  7. RobinLC

    RobinLC Active Member

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    The advice given to me by the fiction writers class I'm taking is the second draft should be about fixing your plot and theme. Don't worry about the small stuff. Your 3rd rewrite will be about grammar and spelling. For now, print out your work, go to a quiet place and start editing. Printing out your work gives you a different look at your paper. Sometimes it's harder to see things that will glare at you from a printed page. And paper is less distracting than a computer.
     
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  8. AndieBoDandy

    AndieBoDandy Active Member

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    Wow, an exciting place to be! A lot of excellent advice here. I second... or perhaps third... the taking some time off before starting your edit. You really do see things clearer/cleaner with distance. As a personal note; I just did a rewrite of my first chapter, and after two days of looking at it under a microscope, I couldn't see the forest for the trees. I got to the point where I honestly couldn't tell if I was making it better... or worse. So definitely give it some space.
    I also agree with the printing it out and working on a hard copy, as well as reading your work aloud. But yes, stick to the big picture first. Look for those plot holes and story structure first.
    Best of luck to you.
     
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  9. Spurs06

    Spurs06 Member

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    Thank you everyone . Lots of great advice.
     
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  10. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I have so wanted to reply! For my current WIP I purposed my 2nd draft as a developmental draft. Honestly, I only did it because several editors who I follow suggested it. I didn't see a purpose for it, but I'm a believer in the old saying different results only result from different actions.
    This has been a game changer for me. I filled in the plot holes. Took advantage of plot opportunities. Got a handle on my characters (my MC was a late bloomer). I even did a scene by scene break down: checking for PoV, Purpose, etc. Also since this is a right side of the brain task I looked at the work from a pure technical viewpoint. This was a game changer also.
    I'm now in my 3rd draft; what I call the reader or prose draft, with a confidence in my story that I've never had before.
    Godspeed!
     
  11. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    The only thing I can think to add, is that sometimes I separate my character/plot threads so I can read through them without all the other stuff distracting me -- helps sort out holes, linearity and whatnot -- and if you've plotted and kept decent notes while you were writing, it's not terribly hard to do.
     
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