August 11, 2017 @ 10:23 PM

Seven Sensible Steps to Success As a Writer
Step 6 (continued): The second draft

With the first draft of the book completed, you can view the work as a whole. The high points and the low become more apparent, like looking at a model map of the terrain you’ve just traversed with such labour.

The strengths and weaknesses of the work become clearer. The balance between the characters, the development of plot, any redundancies of dialogue, action and metaphor not picked up when editing the first draft, all come to the fore.

It’s time to think about the second draft of your book. Time to cut back quite heavily where it seems overdone, or to add new material to fill perceived gaps in the tale. Time to see golden words and phrases, as they seemed when first written, turn to lead and sink from the precious text.

Time to move some material to a better place in the manuscript – so much easier to do in these days of the word processor. And often it’s time to shift sections back again to where they originally belonged.

The second draft isn't always better than the first version. Mostly it is: but as the Gershwin song has it, It Ain’t Necessarily So…

Next: How many drafts...?

Photo: Everlastings on Mt Hotham, Victoria. Wikimedia commons