What Is a Second Draft, Anyway?

Okay, I know that when I finish the first draft, (I’m rapidly getting there, by the way) I’m far from finished. There is still a lot to do. I expect to revise. But what exactly do I revise?

I found this wonderful sight called Fiction Notes. It’s maintained by Darcy Pattison an author and writing teacher. She provides a free pdf: After the First Draft: 30 Fast, Easy Writing Tips for the Second Draft. It opened my eyes to so much.

My main goal is to finish my WIP sometime in July. Then on to revisions, the second draft. At that time, I’ll take my novel apart and put it back together again.

  • I’ll add more sensory details
  • make the settings come alive with added details
  • make the inner and outer conflicts mesh
  • scan the dialogue and give each character their own voice
  • spruce up the character descriptions
  • revise the transitions so that they orient the reader to where they are in the story
  • clearly define the theme
  • put a sling around the middle to keep it from sagging
  • tie up all loose ends

Dang! The second draft will be just as difficult, if not more so, as the first. Well, I can put my worries about word count to rest. If I don’t reach my goal in the first draft then I surely will with the second. Unless I decide to cut things out. Ouch!