Drafting

In the world of racing (and freeway driving), it’s the art of getting close up behind another driver to decrease drag and maximize airflow – or something much more technical – which should help improve your speed and mileage.

In my world at the moment, it’s the art of getting close up behind plot and characters to decrease drag and maximize word flow – or something much more technical – which should help improve story and readability.

Very similar except that the first is more fun.

I thought getting through the initial draft of BD&L was tough.  And it was.  But I forced myself to just plow through it, beginning to end without re-writing or editing.  Once done, I let it sit for a bit.  I sent it out to a couple alpha readers who assured me it wasn’t tripe and I should continue on.

So I did.  Which meant a second draft. I started fine tuning, added scenes, deleted scenes, totally obliterated the whole gawdawful info dump of a first chapter and started where the story starts.

I thought I would get bored, going over and over it.  I mean, how many times in a row can you read a book and still be entertained?  The thing is, I’m not reading for entertainment purposes.  I’m diving into the details – from punctuation to word choice, characterization to world building – being very conscious about every aspect of the writing itself.  Yes, I’ve even done  counts on how many times I’ve used (over-used) certain words.  It seems the more times I read through the ms, the more I get to know and understand my characters.  I’m seeing nuances to their actions I hadn’t noticed.  I’m adding depth to the plot in places where it’s weak.  Finding symbolism and hints at book two I didn’t consciously realize I had put in there.  It’s like finding buried treasure.  If I do get bored going over a section, that’s a red flag.  I need to do something about it because otherwise, chances are the reader is going to get bored as well.

I’m almost through it for the . . . fourth or fifth time?  After my beta readers finish with it, and provided there aren’t any huge issues, I’ll print a hard copy, grab the red pen, and give it one more go.  I’m so grateful I didn’t send it out when I *thought* it was done.  It is a much better book than it was even one draft ago.  I’m getting very excited about it.  Hopefully I get an agent very excited about it as well. 

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4 responses

  1. Josh Langston

    From what I’ve seen of BD&L (which still sounds to me like a law firm or a public utility), you have reason to be excited. I’m looking forward to reading the draft-in-progress.

    December 12, 2011 at 10:32 am

    • Thanks, Josh. As soon as you’re ready I can send more your way. 🙂

      December 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm

  2. You’ve got the right attitude! Other writers can learn a lot from your process. 🙂

    December 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm

  3. Editing’s the fun bit – that’s for sure! 🙂

    Anne
    xxx

    December 13, 2011 at 1:00 am

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