Changing the world's opinion… as soon as we finish this math homework
My name is Aisha, and just like you, I have been following this awesome blog for ages, which is why I was so excited to get the honor of posting on here.
You guys have already heard from Mark, who talked about beginning the query process, and today I want to take it back even further: to the second draft.
And with NaNoWriMo being almost over (not that my word count is anything to judge by), lots of us are going to be left with heaping piles of first-draft-yuck. I know from personal experience that going back and looking at the first draft of your novel for the first time can be a horrible feeling:
If you’ve done anything like this (or maybe something a little less dramatic), then I know how you feel.
Here’s how I defeat the monstrous second draft (besides of course, large amounts of overly processed foods.)
First, take a break. Step back, remind yourself what outside actually smells like (Yeah, I know. The bright light in the sky burns at first, but you’ll get use to it) and give your mind some time to refresh itself.
Second, decide what you want from your second draft. Some of us, most likely anyone doing NaNoWriMo, are basically starting from scratch with their novels. We got the words out, we have the main plot kinda, and we realize just how completely terrible those words actually are. So, the second draft can either be a complete rewrite or just a bit of copying and pasting. Either way, I can assure you, after the second draft, your novel will not be the same as it started out – and that’s a good thing. We’re trying to move forwards not backwards.
You most likely will not be focusing on punctuation and fancy prose in the second draft of your novel; there’s no point in fixing line by line, if the story itself doesn’t make sense.
Your second draft is mainly about fixing big plot holes (Yeah, that pirate family that you decided halfway through the novel worked better as farmers, yeah that’s gonna need some fixin’.)
The second draft is about figuring out your ideas, it’s about pulling all the big pieces of your story together to make it coherent.
Because, if we’re being honest, half the time when I go back to read the first draft I have no idea what was going on when I was writing a certain scene or what I was thinking.
The second draft is particularly important for those of you who are pantsers, who started their novel with not much idea where it would end.
The second draft is where you’ll mold most of your story, where everything comes together and you sift through those very big plot holes in the story and might end up killing a few plot bunnies that had seemed like such a good idea at the time.
The second draft basically consists of a lot of R&R – revising and rewriting.
Just like the first draft, this one will also have it’s difficulties. You’ll get tired, you’ll get annoyed and downright mad at your story. The important thing is to push through, to remember why you’re doing this in the first place: Because you have a story, a story that is brilliant and amazing and that you want to share with the world.