Author Topic: Drafts  (Read 1599 times)

Offline Writer Boy

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« on: April 05, 2007, 04:16:52 PM »
Hello to all reading this! I have a question, I've written my first draft but it's not my best work because I didn't take my time to go back and edit. I just wrote it. How do I write my second draft? Do I just write the whole story again? Or do I go back and edit it? Whats best?

Comments Please. Thanks.

Writer Boy
Writing is important to me, It's something I most certainly NEED to do.

Offline jagsaw

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Re: Drafts
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2007, 04:58:26 PM »
I'd just go back and edit it. Starting from scratch again - you might as well delete the first one and start anew. So yeah, go through it and edit it. Well that's what I'm gonna do with mine. take out all the irrelevant stuff, change things you might think need changing, e.g. you might want to reword a conversation or redo a description to make it more vivid.
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Offline thatollie

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Re: Drafts
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2007, 10:40:07 PM »
You may notice that a lot of what's at the beginning isn't as good as you remember.
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Offline DC

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Re: Drafts
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2007, 07:06:16 AM »
Hi Writer Boy,

I think that most people on MWC would say that a first draft should be just what you've done; not necessarilly your best, but just written to get all of your ideas/story down on paper (so to speak). Forget editing at this stage; that comes once you've finished the first draft.

Now you have to read your manuscript from the start, but critically. Look for all the ways you might improve it. Are there any overly long, 'wordy' sections that might be tightened up? Could you 'show' a particular situation, rather than 'telling' us about it? This usually means adding more words, but the result is much more effective/satisfying. Have you got any 'Temporal Anomalies'? (In chapter six, does she check the time on a watch that she lost in chapter two? She may have found it again in chapter four, but you forgot to tell us this.)

Personally I make the mistake of going back to edit what I've just written, which is probably one reason why I'm getting nowhere fast with my novel. When I do decipline myself, I'll go back and read each paragraph. If I find one I don't like, I then copy/paste it in to a new document, and re-write it beneath. This way I always have the original to refer to, but I'm not distracted by what came before or after. Once I'm happy with it, I copy/paste the new version back in to the original document, above the original paragraph, and usually in a different colour. I can then check it for consistency with what comes before/after. When I'm finally happy with it, I delete the original paragraph, and change the colour of the new version back to black. But I usually always keep the 'copy' I made, in a suitably named file, so that I still have it to go back to if needed.

Oh, and don't forget to check for spelling mistakes and grammar errors!

Others might have different ideas/suggestions, but that's my 'take' on it. Hope it helps.


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Re: Drafts
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007, 01:28:46 PM »

I find it much easier to make a new draft if I pick something in particular I want to check/change, for example, say you wanted to check for any repeated words in a paragraph or on a page, and change them. That could be one draft, then on another you may decide that one of your characters needs a stronger 'voice'. Check everything they say; does that echo their personality and temperment? Uusally, (especially with lost of dialogue between a few characters) you should be able to remove 'said so-and-so' and still know who's talking.

Anyway just an idea, it breaks it down a bit, making it all a bit more manageable. It's even easier if you write a list at the beginning of any particular drafts you want to make, like: 1. must make sure I have no cliche's (hmm is that the right spelling?!)

Hope this helps (sorry i may have rambled!)
Risca xxx

Offline funink

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Re: Drafts
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2007, 01:44:29 PM »
Lots of excellent suggestions. All worth trying. One of the great thing about writing is that you're the boss. Whatever works for you is the right way. And if what worked last week isn't working this week, you can change it. You're the one who decides. Kind of like being King of your own Empire.

Nadine L

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Re: Drafts
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2007, 01:59:40 PM »

Here is another thread that might have some useful info for you.;topicseen

Definitely, don't start over. The whole point of writing a first draft is to have a starting point to take it to the next level.

Hope this helps.


Offline Jezzica85

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Re: Drafts
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 07:10:25 PM »
I'm a bit of an oddball on this--if I were you, I wouldn't start over.


In my own story, I went through three drafts, then realized that each draft was missing something because they were all stalling in the same place, and they went in a completely different direction than I wanted. So then, yes, I scrapped my old drafts and started over (but I kept them for reference). I'd emphasize, though, DO NOT DO THAT UNLESS YOU'VE DONE MULTIPLE DRAFTS, SPENT TIME WORKING WITH THEM, AND KNOW FOR CERTAIN THAT THE STORY ISN'T WHAT YOU WANT. If you do that, you run the risk of throwing away something good.

For a second draft, don't just scrap it. Later on, though, in extreme cases, sometimes it is wise to remember that the option is open.

Hope that helps,
I always thought a fictional character was just that--completely your imagination. Now, I know better. Think about this--your most treasured characters, whether you realize it or not, are everything you dream for yourself. That's the real beauty of writing.