Morning storytellers and world changers! I hope you have all had a good week.
A couple of weeks ago, I finished the second draft of my novel, and I thought that this week I would share some thoughts from that experience. I’d love to hear what stage you are at in your creative journey, so please so pop a comment at the end of the post to let me know or contact me at any time!
So, finishing the second draft! I am glad to say that I did it within my set target date. Here are some thoughts, ideas and things I learnt upon finishing it.
1. The second draft feels just as unpolished as the first
Though I knew my novel would, and does, need many edits, I think I thought things would be at least a little more polished after the second draft. I was wrong. For me, the second draft was mostly piecing together all the scenes from the first draft. I found that so much had changed as I wrote the last half of the story, that this edit was mostly me adapting the first half to fit with what had come later. That’s what you get for letting your characters take control!
2. There’s more ‘fixing’ than ‘layering’
Again, I had a false expectation of the second draft. I thought I would simply be adding to detail, layering the story to give it more depth. And while I did add to some scenes, mostly I fixed issues that had cropped up along the course of the first draft, when I was still fleshing out the main story line. This is no bad thing. These fixes were essential, and some layers DID come, but I hope that more ‘layering’ will happen in the third draft.
3. It’s not as exciting as finishing the first draft
This might be different for everyone, but I found that I wasn’t jumping for joy in the same way as when I finished the first draft. I was still pleased of course, and proud, but I guess there is just something about that all important first draft feeling that is hard to beat.
4. It fills you with self doubt
Self doubt, self doubt, self doubt. A huge issue for all creatives. I finished my second draft with mixed emotions. The part of me that loves the story battling the part of me that worries it’s no good. However, I have spoken passionately about how writers should be kind to themselves, and I am an optimist. So, I pack away my self pity and move positively forward in the hope that actually, this novel could be something special.
5. It’s another step forward
The best part about finishing the second draft was knowing that I had taken another step forward. Perhaps this is just the second step in a very, very long journey. But forward is always something to be proud of, and it is this thought that will carry me through to finishing the third step.
Perhaps your feelings on second drafts are different to mine? Perhaps you aren’t there yet? Either way, please do comment your thoughts below. It is always a pleasure to hear from you.