On Second Drafts

No, I haven’t finished my second draft. Ha. Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha…. Hang on….

Okay.

Now then.

I collected some thoughts on second drafts and thought I would share them really quick.

Here’s a tough reality to the second draft: It might be worse than the first draft.
A tough pill to swallow, sure, but good advice throughout this gem from Chuck Wendig.

Here’s something to remember: Every single great book you have ever read has a problematic first draft behind it. Every one.
This section really jumped out at me. For a first effort, I don’t hate my first draft completely. There are some gems in there that need a little (okay, a LOT) of polishing. Reminding myself that every book I have ever loved started off with a crappy first draft? Makes me feel so much better.

So I asked him if he ever thought rewriting could fix a flawed story. His answer was clear and I remember it word-for-word to this day: “No matter how many times you stir up a steaming pile of crap, it’s still just a steaming pile of crap.”
Talk about mental clarity. My first draft is a steaming pile of crap. It just is. Remember how I said it takes me to about 40,000 words to find a plot? As cringy as that is, it’s the truth! So, I have determined that what I am doing is really redrafting, using bits and pieces of the first draft where there’s good stuff.

So, there you go. Second draft advice. Maybe at the end of this segment, I’ll have my own advice to throw on the heap.

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