The Dreaded Second Draft

There is a tremendously freeing feeling when I write a first draft. It’s full of wonder and excitement. All the magic happens in the first draft of a novel. Wanna see where that dark road leads? Go for it! Want to add characters that probably won’t end up in the final draft? Let them play! Wanna see if two characters have any chemistry, write them a sex scene to find out! First drafts, ANYTHING GOES. It is my favorite of all the drafts.

My least favorite? The second draft. The draft you have to look at the ‘magic’ you created and try to make a coherent story out of it. I LOATHE it. It’s painful. I’ve tried several ‘expert’ opinions on how to make this less painful of a process, and I may have stumbled on something that might help me, not only with second drafts, but with making sure that first draft doesn’t go too far out into left field.

I picked up a copy of Save The Cat Writes a Novel! and I now have some optimism when I dive into my draft two edits in January of my Nanowrimo project. It was a great book if you’d like to learn about how story structure works (and why stories fail.)

I even made flashcards to help me when January roles around because I am a dork.

My dorkiness knows no bounds.

Hopefully, with the help of these cards to keep me on track of where the story should roughly be traveling, I won’t get so lost in draft two. I’ll keep you posted.

Until then…

Danielle Bannister, author and loather of draft 2


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