A WRITER’S PERSPECTIVE: WHAT I LEARNED WRITING MY SECOND DRAFT

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Mabuhay, friends!

Writing my second draft was way harder than the first. Before I sat down to write the second draft, I already had a list of things that I knew I wanted to change.  I began my rewrite mid-2019 and finished in March 2020. It took me longer than I had anticipated reaching the end because my confidence began to hit low during this rewrite. Suddenly, this entire story that I wanted to tell was splayed out in front of me but I struggled to see beyond the flaws in my manuscript.

Finishing my manuscript was scary. For one, it made me realize that I was close to having people read my words. This means, baring my creativity for people’s opinions. I don’t know if other writers feel the way I do but on having finished my second draft, I was more anxious than I had ever been. In my head, I kept thinking, “Oh my god, you’re actually serious about this!” Not to downplay any writer’s hard work, but a second draft to me meant I couldn’t pretend anymore that this was a hobby. I could no longer afford to toe the line or be shy about my work. I’ve always known I’ve wanted to be an author but I’ve always been scared to put forth my work.

With my second draft done, the first step I’ll be taking is to get some feedback from alpha readers.

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Photo by Ella Jardim on Unsplash

REWRITE, NOT EDIT

The second draft won’t be perfect but it will be better than your first. As I read through my first draft, I took notes of every flaw I could catch. I took notes of what I wanted to include, what was unnecessary, and questions I needed to answer. By noting these down I could pinpoint where my plot was failing or what was lacking. As I read on I had to remind myself that I was not here to do the line edits but to rewrite my entire story.

🌺 Related Post: Five Mistakes I Made While Writing My First Novel

IT’S PAINFUL AND MESSY

Prepare for your scenes to get messier, for your characters to outgrow what you wanted for them, but slowly you’ll begin to see your story take shape. There will be plenty of scenes you’ll not want to cut and characters you might have to set aside, but you’ll end up having to. To tell you truth, I had to change up my entire outline for the second draft to make sense.

One crucial reminder: always, always track the changes you make! Be consistent with the notes you take whether they are questions you want to be able to answer within the manuscript, or character arcs, or worldbuilding you want to show more of.

It’s always best to have a goal in mind with your second draft. 

CONTINUAL DEVELOPMENT 

I know for a fact that my rewrite does not end at the second draft. The story-line may not be as messy as it was but there is so much work to be done. At the same time, I also know that my manuscript could use fresh eyes and feedback for me to be able to have a solid idea of what needs to be bettered. Because of that my second draft will be sent off to critique partners and alpha readers. Now, this isn’t something you have to do. It all depends on where you’re comfortable at and what you’re willing to show people.

I always keep in mind that there is always space for changes; as I continue to work on my manuscript, I will continue to develop and build upon the world I have created.

🌺 Related Post: Answering My WIP Questions // I Talk About My Characters, WIP Settings and Sharing A Line

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14 thoughts on “A WRITER’S PERSPECTIVE: WHAT I LEARNED WRITING MY SECOND DRAFT

  1. cielobellerose says:

    This is a great post! I finished writing my first novel last year but I got so scared when I started editing it and realised that I needed to rewrite it from scratch, that I haven’t touched the project since. This gives me some encouragement to pick up my first draft again and finally start working on it! I would love to see more advices on the rewriting and editing process, specially how to get organized for those phases of writing💖

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thewolfandbooks says:

    This was super helpful advice. I keep treating my first draft like my second. I need to wait until the second stage to actually worry about those additional developments.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Fanna says:

        I haven’t yet finished my first draft but I am trying to gather all that I can about what I shouldn’t worry about when it’s time for the second drafting. This post has helped me. I’ll make sure to not get my editor glasses on while rewriting.

        Like

  3. Camilla @ Reader in the Attic says:

    Oh, this remind me a lot of my project WIP I. Every draft, I wrote it again.
    I do plan for my new story to be more sure and precise, while allowing me to not be perfect in the phrases I write down. Then, the second time I’ll add and take out what I desire.
    And I started to note down what I want to include in my chapters when it comes to worldbuilding. So… I’m very excited.

    I admit reading this post gave me a tiny bit of anxiety, because there’s much work to do, but it was a great read and very useful

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cam @ Camillea Reads says:

      Ooh congratulations! I’m glad this post helps 🙂 Having critique partners or writing partners really helps when tackling a big task like this! It also helps to divide what you want to prioritize in your book – for example, when I tackled the second draft, my first priority was getting the plot straightened out. With regards to worldbuilding, I would add in little notes on what I wanted to fit in or change, and during a slow day I would go back to that! Good luck with your WIP ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sarehlovasen says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve always been curious of how other writers handle their second drafts. I see so many talk just about the first draft but vague things about the rest. I’m in the process of rewriting my first draft, so I guess it’s the second draft! It’s difficult but I love the new direction it’s going in.

    Like

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