Second Draft Underway


These past weeks have seen me with my head down and fingers flying. I finally typed up the remainder of my handwritten manuscript. I now have 176,000 words to play with. It’s all printed out and I’m about two thirds of the way through the first batch of revisions. I now have a second draft document open and it’s made me realise three things. One, is that because I edit my previous day’s work before I start writing for the day, my second draft is really my third draft. Two, is that because I edit my whole story whenever I hit a major plot point, this second draft is really a fourth draft, maybe a fifth, with the beginning subjected to more revisions than the rest. And three, this has made the first half of my current batch of paper revisions fly by while the least revised ending needs a lot of work. This is making me panic about its reading readiness. It’s making me think that after so much revision, it really should be more perfect.

I’m not happy with the showdown as it stands. It needs a scary amount of work. Every paragraph is littered with notes to make earlier inserts. This is how I work anyway. I find myself using a weapon, for instance, and realise I need to set it up much earlier. So I write something like (INSERT: blunderbuss in will reading scene), but not that, obviously not that, so that when I do my paper revisions, I can rummage back to the right spot and casually work in the blunderbuss. These insert notes will appear every few pages initially, then they thin out a bit. But like I said, the showdown is littered with them and they aren’t as specific as I’d like, so I’ll be making late decisions on where the inserts should go. It makes me feel so disorganised, even though this is the most organised I’ve ever been.

So tonight I’ve copied my first draft with all its associated notes and inserts into the new file. Now I just need to decide whether to start making the changes that I’ve already addressed on paper straight away or wait until I’ve redrafted all of it. I’ll just be rocking in the corner.