Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Second Drafts

Second Drafts

Writing isn’t easy. It is a lot of man hours and time spent learning, studying, daydreaming, and working. It isn’t for the faint of heart. At points I think my head will explode, at points I’m pretty sure it does, but oh how I love it! To see a story as a puddle of gooey words get its own legs is exciting.
This week, I'm preparing to embark on my second draft of my WIP, Paper White. The story has marinated in my brain for a couple of weeks. I've lifted the lid and taken a good whiff, and she's ready to give the once over of a second draft.

So, what does a second draft look like for me?

I read over the story start to finish. I don't worry with line edits at this point I'm only looking at big picture ideas. Also, I don’t actually change anything, but I do make lots and lots of notes.

Here is what I’m looking for:
  • Do I have themes that emerge, some of which I’ve planned, some of which I haven’t? I liken it to a treasure hunt. Themes are always there, whether intentional or not. (Score! I’ve got some good ones. I’ll want to go back and reinforce those!)
  • Plot holes – Oh yeah, they are there. They always are.
  • Foreshadowing –Foreshadowing becomes a tightrope walk. Not enough and the story can fall to its doom and too much, then the reader will become bored.
  • Can I delete any characters? Can I combine any characters? Are they interesting enough to want to read about? This WIP, I have one character that I’m waffling on. I like him, but I’m afraid he can be merged with another to round her out. But, dang, I don’t want to lose him, he likes to quote Batman.
  • Is my timeline consistent? (Warning, I can get a little crazy with this one, and
    could write a whole post on this. For now, I will just say, that I make notes and graphs, working it all into my story/plot board.)
  • How is the pacing? The arc? Is my story happening too quickly or is it slow?  (I can already see where I need to add more chapters. Which always makes me as happy as a cat with a bowl of kibbles. I might be using this example because I forgot to buy cat food, and I’m paying for it today. Every step I take a whiskered face meows at me.)
  • Lastly, I begin to keep an eye out for words that I’ve overused on the same page. Once when I was editing, I’d overdone the word hand so much that it became hilarious. It went something like this: She held his hand with her hand and they walked hand and hand. I might be exaggerating, but you get the picture.
Tomorrow—I’ll be making a story/plot board, so I can systematically plan out how to fix it all!

So, what do you work on during your second draft? 

Verse this week:
1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.