Writing a Novel: Draft One Edit and Draft Two Prep

Well, here we are in mid-May and I haven’t begun writing draft two of my novel yet. Admittedly, I’m behind schedule. I had initially hoped to complete my draft one edit in mid-March. That didn’t happen. My first schedule had May 15th as my complete draft two rewrite. That’s not going to happen.

Why did I miss my own deadlines? Because, I honestly did not make it a huge priority. I was enjoying family visits, work on other projects, freelance work, volunteering… oh, and ya know, being a parent and working full-time too. Lots of excuses. As I’m setting my own deadlines, the only person that I’m disappointing is myself, but I don’t consider it a disappointment. I consider these delays realistic because I chose to prioritize things above my book at this time.

One of those reasons? Uncertainty. Not over the content of my book, but how to approach draft two. I’ve done a fair amount of research into other author’s techniques into writing tips, plot development, story structure and character mapping. Because I wrote draft one in essentially five weeks, there’s a decent amount of work to be done to truly craft my story into a solid piece of work.

IMG_4959The edit of draft one was itself a daunting project. I read my draft once earlier this year, then I printed it out, bound it (cheaply at Office Max) and then did an actual physical edit with a red pen. Page by page, I looked for grammatical errors, scribbled notes, crossed out sections, and planned places to add more content. Between the previously mentioned excuses and actual time it took, I completed the edit in about two months. I actually only finished it last night. Tossing my pen down after reading the last words (which included crossing out THE END), was incredibly satisfying. It was also highly motivating.

My next steps include breaking my story apart, scene by scene and deciding a method on how to look at my story as a series of scenes. Post-Its on a giant whiteboard? Setting up Trello boards? Physical method vs digital method. Maybe both? It’s up for internal debate. This whole writing process has been a combo of both up to this point. (Initial ideas were written in Evernote, the story was written in Storyist. Notes and story ideas were physically in written in a notebook when discussing draft one with my beta readers.)

I’m at an exciting point in the process and I look forward to the challenges that lay in front of me. Thanks for keeping an eye on this journey with me. I’ll keep you posted on updates.

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