Week 1 of the Second Draft of the Novel

Last Sunday, I finally got started on the second draft of the novel I wrote last year. Second drafts are complete rewrites for me. In the first draft, I tell myself the story, figure things out, and then completely rewrite it in the second draft, based on what I know. I try to make it into an interesting story for someone other than me. Often this is where the characters come to life and the story finds its voice.

I wrote 6,000 words last week, breaking 1,000 or more words on 4 of 7 days. The last time I had a week in which I wrote more than a 1,000 words/day four times was back in January. That said, I struggled. I think I was trying to find the right voice, and I ended up getting into my head, the way a pitcher can get into a hitter’s head when they think too much at the plate.

I flailed around quite a bit on Wednesday and Thursday and bombed on Friday. But I tried not to let that get me down too much. I took a deep breath, and spent much of Saturday allowing the story to play through the background of my day. Yesterday evening, I sat down to write, and got 1,500 words, and I think I found the right opening. I’m not certain, since I’ve flailed around quite a bit, but it was strong ending to a tough week.

And so, while I wrote 6,000 words, only 1,500 of those words are words that will (for now, anyway) stay in the second draft. This isn’t completely out of the ordinary for me. I tend do this in short stories as well, although not as much. I feel like I have a bit more of a command of that form than novels, but I’m learning as I go.

For week 2, I’d love to get 7,000 words, but I’ll be happy with whatever I get, as long as the story is taking shape, is interesting, and continues to move me.


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