Good morning writers. I hope this week is treating you well.
Recently, my writing has been on a role, so I’m pleased to say I have finished my third draft! When I say finished, what I really mean is, I have loads of notes, some chapters that need to be written from scratch and a long, long way still to go. In one sense, I’m further on than I was before but I’m also a little further behind than I’d hoped to be. Isn’t the writer’s life a funny old thing?!
Anyway, I wanted to share with you my thoughts from finishing the third draft. They may differ completely to your own experiences, or you may not be there yet, but I hope you find the post insightful anyway.
1. The third draft adds layers
Layers, layers, wonderful layers! I spoke in a post upon finishing the second draft about how I’d expected more layers to be added after the first edit. I spoke about how I was wrong and for me, the second draft wasn’t about adding layers at all, but more re-structuring the plot. In this draft, I added layers and for me this was the best bit. I’ve loved writing better descriptions, more hints at back story. Finally! This is what editing is all about…
2. You fix more plot holes
Plot holes everywhere! In this draft I stumbled across so many little things that popped up out of nowhere…any reader would be so confused. The story is in my head, so I know all the intricate details so well that sometimes I forget to explain them….woops! Somehow, I missed loads of these in my second draft, but this time I got most of them…I think!
3. You’ll make loads of notes
I have pages of notes after this draft. Everything from “change the times of this incident” to “explain this here” and “add that there.” These notes will be the biggest factor in the next edit, which is slightly daunting but exciting too.
4. You win some, you lose some
You will cut some scenes that you love. You will cut some scenes that you hate. You will add some scenes that you love. For me, this draft was a sure case of you win some, you lose some. It can be so hard to cut out scenes, especially scenes you love. Sometimes you have to accept that they simply don’t work, or don’t add to the story. But as you edit you’ll also add writing that you love, and that makes it all worth it.
5. You worry that it’s boring
This has been my major factor in this edit. We suffer writer’s doubt at every stage, and certainly need to be kind to ourselves. For me, I just can’t stop thinking, is this story boring? Does this scene drag? Do I need this? Is it too slow? I’m eager and nervous to get my story to beta readers to find out some outside opinions. Eek! better crack on with more edits then…
6. It’s a huge achievement
Technicalities aside, worries aside, future plans aside; this is a huge achievement. Right here, right now I have reached the end of a second edit, the third draft exists! I have stuck with this story for so long! Remember to always be proud of yourself, every step of the way. From the first draft right up until the last.
How do you feel about your drafts? Your edits? Perhaps you’re not there yet. Do comment below or contact me anytime to share your experiences and writing journey.