Second Drafts

I’d forgotten how amusing, how frustrating, and how incredibly surprising a second draft can be.  

The plan for book 2 had, at first, been to write the whole of draft 1 in a single pass, then to follow up with the usual draft, after draft, after draft, ad nauseam.  It didn’t turn out that way, though.  Instead, I’ve found myself writing book 2 in much the same was as I wrote book 1: write a chapter, go over that chapter again a couple of times to bang it into shape, then move onto the next.  It turns out that this is how my brain likes to write.

It’s only chapter 1 at this point, though I’m on my second pass.  It’s such a mixed bag, this process.  One moment, you’re trawling through a paragraph, changing nearly every word to one that seems a bit more appropriate, fixing tenses, capitalizing proper nouns, and generally wondering just how bad a case of carbon monoxide poisoning you must have while you writing this crap down the first time.  Then, there will be this one paragraph, this concept outlined in this single block of text, that will hit you right in your center, will really grab you.  “What?  Did I write that?” you might say.  “I don’t think I’m good enough to have written that.”

I’ve just found my first significant need for a rewrite, in fact.  Turns out, I have this radical change in tone about three-quarters through the chapter that gives the impression that two different people wrote them on two different days.  It’s not the first time I’ve encountered this, to be honest.  One of the dangers of doing almost all of your writing on your train commutes to and from work is that you very often are two different people on two different days.  I largely suspect that this tonal change occurred somewhere between the Circle Line and Platform 14 at Paddington Station.  I’ll need to change out about 1/8th of the text in the chapter to make it work.  The good news, though, is that I know exactly how to do it, and it’s going to make the story better.

I’ve also identified the first area where I’m going to have to do some actual research!  How cool is that?!

So, that’ll be the second draft of chapter 1 all nice and wrapped up by the end of the week.  Chapter 2, here I come!

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