Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday Tips: The Second Draft

You have finished your first draft and spiked that ball in the end-zone! You have congratulated yourself. You have taken a weekend off. You have rewarded yourself. (Don’t use food. You’re not a dog) 

Now what?

The dreaded second draft.

  • Name the file with a draft number. Ex – BotS-1.0.doc
  • Back that thing up more than usual.
  • Increment the name to BotS-2.0.doc
  • Increment the name after every session.
This is where your mileage may vary. I work my second draft in very specific ways.
  • My main mission is to cut out the fat.
  • I create a detailed Character sheet of names.
  • I create a detailed Place name list as well.
  • Make a detailed timeline.
  • Cut to the bone. Remove data dumps.
  • Fix typos, but line edits are not the focus.
  • Make additions to the thin sections.
  • Review chapter titles if you have them.

For me the focus of the second draft is a general review. Removing and adding sections or even rearranging things if required. It is NOT a detailed line by line edit yet. That will come later.

Make sure that you save all the pieces you cut. They may be useful later.

Depending on the length of the work it should not take too long to do the second draft. Writing additional chapters or sections will take the most time. Pace and balance of your story should be fixed by the end of your second draft.

--Extra Backups when done. Actually, go backup your current project NOW. 


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