What Writing Process? Or…When Your Second Draft Feels More Like a First
I’m working on the second draft of my historical YA. Last week, I passed the 50-page mark and did a little dance of joy. Partially because of the page count, but in a big way, because the writing of that week’s scenes had gone so well. As in fast. With the words pouring out.
Yeah, like a first draft.
It’s the second draft, so maybe you’re thinking you should be asking me this: But aren’t you revising? Well, yes. And, no.
Back here, when I finished Draft 1, I talked about the big discovery of that draft-that I had two stories going, not one. With, very possibly, two different heroes. In other words, two books.
So, yes, in a way, I’m revising–I am working with a seriously different plot. My hero’s goal has become much more sharply defined. (Um, maybe because she’s not as confused as I was during the whole last draft?!) So, story? Yes, that’s in the revision stage.
Scenes? Not so much. Yes, my plot has my hero going to some of the same places, meeting the same people, having similar arguments as she did before. But the focus/angle/slant/WHATEVER of these scenes-the why she’s there and the where she needs to go after–that’s all different. So different that I’m not opening up a single original scene to make changes in. I’m writing new.
Could I beat myself up about this? Oh, yeah, I so could. I could tell myself that I should have written that first-first draft ten times as fast. I could tell myself that I still haven’t done reasearch to the point I thought I needed to, to make myself happy writing this draft. I could tell myself that I didn’t learn a thing about who my hero was the first time through; I only learned about who she wasn’t. I could look at the calendar and beat myself up for how soon this draft isn’t going to be done. I could do all that, if I let myself get sucked into the idea that there is one way to write a book, even just one way for a particular writer to write a book.
Which, of course, there isn’t.
So, I’m diving back into scenes this week, and I’m going to write my somewhere-in-the-middle-of-a-first-and-second-draft version of story. And you know what else I’m going to do? I’m going to enjoy the ride.
Here’s to you and whatever your writing process may be…this week! 🙂