Monday, May 30, 2011

Draft Dodging

I mentioned last week that I couldn't decide whether to continue with the second draft of my current work-in-progress. I need to make some major changes - the villains need to be badder, the main character needs to be more likeable (I always have this problem!) and a few secondary characters could be fleshed out more.

It's very tempting to scrap Draft Two and just start Draft Three (now with more evil and cuddliness than the next leading draft!).

Anyway, I've decided to finish Draft Two. Draft One had a rubbish ending. People talked. A lot. Remember the ending of Breaking Dawn? Like that, without the vampires. I've always been fascinated by the subtle art of diplomacy and negotiation but jeez, there is a limit.

Draft Two was largely to fix the ending, which involved making the MC more active and less inclined to sit back and be the 'new girl', 'audience stand-in.'

That has been addressed, but I'm still missing something. I'm about three-quarters of the way through, my complications have all happened and my MCs are in a great big mess. All that's left is to somehow resolve the great big mess and end the book.

It's so tempting to skip it and go back to perfecting my opening.

But I'm not. I'm going to stick with Draft Two, write my ending and then, in the immortal words of Samuel Goldwyn, at least I'll have something to change.

How do you guys handle multiple drafts?


  1. Sounds about right. I keep going no matter what the voice in my head says. The beginning will still be there in the next draft.

    @mooderino (just started following you on twitter!)

  2. Once I have the first draft done, I treat it like a big puzzle that needs to be solved in order for it to work. So I'll usually do one major run-through edit, working in all the changes I've settled on. After that I go back and tweak scenes, adding, re-arranging or removing parts to tighten it up.

    I don't think I've ever done a "second draft" in the typical way. I have my first draft, and that gets edited over and over until I'm happy.

  3. Oh I'm a one woman draft, me! LOL!!!!! Good luck with your drafting - I say if it feels right then start (or end) wherever you feel is best for you and your novel. I say a happy writer may only be good for the story! Take care

  4. Cheers mood, have followed you back! I know, the beginning will still be there - the goal is to resist its siren song :p

    Paul, I usually open a new file, copy and paste bits over and change them until I'm happy. That way I can keep the good stuff, change the bad stuff, and still have an intact first draft to work from. This time, though, I was changing the entire ending so everything from about 50,000 words onwards was thrown out and I'm working on replacing them.

    Kitty, I agree, more happy writers! I'm off for tea and cake to make myself happier and thus improve my book. . . :)

    So glad I met you!

  5. I'll let you know how I handle multiple drafts just as soon as I really truly finish a first one :)

  6. You may not like this answer but it is the absolute best I can offer: Lay it aside for three years.

    Two cents.

    I wish you all luck and inspiration on this treacherous journey, unequaled in sweetness of payoff in the end.



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