Second Drafts: A Case of the Writerly Mondays?

So I’m writing a second draft of SAAFire and it feels incredibly weird because I’m writing mostly the first act from scratch and then doing a true rewrite of the rest of the book.

Oh and I wrote the first draft in 1st person past and started the rewrite in 3rd person past, having apparently totally forgotten that I will then need to rewrite literally the entire draft and giving myself more work than was necessary.

No pressure, right? WRITE?

Haha, see what I did there? Shut up, it’s Monday. We need humor.

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Working on the second draft while writing a whole new beginning means knowing the destination and having to build the road that gets there and ONLY THERE.

First acts are typically my playground. I have a general idea of where I’m going and I lay that asphalt down wherever I want. Eventually I get to where I need to be.

Now, I pretty much know exactly who my characters will be by the resolution, the changes they undergo and how they see the world on the final page. My job is to build appopriate “before” images so my established “after” versions are not only believable but the reader feels the triumphs and losses with the characters.

In a way, knowing the ending has actually made this easier. Who Dawn, my protagonist, is at the end is very clear. She’s endured so much, had so many of her beliefs challenged, and come out stronger and more mature. The weaknesses and insecurities I need to highlight in act 1 are obvious now so I can work on making her a more nuanced character.

In addition, weaknesses in my story also become clear. The Wandering Penguins convened last night over Mongolian food to discuss story development and our own writing. At this meeting of the minds, the confusion I have about my own mythology came to light in a very big way. The combination of critique partners and knowing what happens to my villain have given me a nice set of parameters to work with to build a mythology that makes sense and a satisfying villain who meets a satisfying end.

Or does he???

 

Needless to say, writing a second draft has been a very interesting journey so far. Having a fixed destination is a new experience and I’m very lucky to have such helpful critique partners in the Penguins along the way.

So, I can see how some writers might think of second drafts (or parts of writing them) with a case of the Mondays but, looking at writing as a team sport, I’m just happy to be playing.

I hope you had a good weekend! See you on Thursday!

Cheers. 🙂

Author: JA Goodsell

I write YA fantasy, blog about it, and then take my dog out for therapy. My current manuscript is INNATE, a story of two sisters caught up in a war between the gods. Find me on Twitter at @JAGoodsell or Instagram at books_and_dogs

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