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PeeDee
12-10-2006, 03:48 AM
Okay, so:

You've finished the first draft of your novel. Short story. Screenplay. Poem. Whichever.

What do you expect out of a second draft of it? What do you have to put in/take out/change/whatever to consider the second draft a success?

janetbellinger
12-10-2006, 03:53 AM
I can't even remember the second draft of my current novel. I've written at least twenty drafts already but I would say I don't expect a lot from my second draft, maybe just getting rid of some really obvious errors. I didn't actually reach the stage of refinement until I'd written at least a dozen drafts.

scarletpeaches
12-10-2006, 03:55 AM
I take out those dastardly adverbs! Eliminate qualifiers, tighten dialogue, cut out paragraphs, even entire chapters that don't serve the story. Even if it reads well, is entertaining, it's out if it doesn't do anything. It shouldn't be there unless it reveals character or moves the story along.

General tightening. Liposuction of the first, rough draft. :)

C.bronco
12-10-2006, 04:01 AM
Tightening up the language, and, hopefully, strengthening my MC. I've declared NaNoReWriMo on my private island, and I will finish before the end of the month. I do a lot of editing while I write the first draft. I've done some tinkering, but this is the first valid effort at a rewrite.

Linda Adams
12-10-2006, 04:14 AM
Fixing story setup. That has been the bane of my existence--making the first 100 pages work right.

WriterInChains
12-10-2006, 04:27 AM
After a completed first draft has had time to gather a little dust, I'll read it through and usually find I need to ground it more in place & time. In my version of 2nd-draft land: [minimal] descriptions of places and seasons/weather so the reader will know where & when they are; ensure sequential chapters make sense time/place-wise; eliminate qualifiers; fix obvious areas where a character isn't "in character."

I leave the mundane passages and obsessing over every sentence until a later draft (unless I'm inspired, of course).

ChaosTitan
12-10-2006, 05:03 AM
General tightening. Liposuction of the first, rough draft. :)

Ditto.

Thankfully I have noticed that with each story I write, the second draft requires less and less lipo. As I learn things I am more mindful of them while writing the first draft, so I don't have to waste time removing them later.

scarletpeaches
12-10-2006, 05:06 AM
I'm copyrighting the phrase "liposuction of the first draft". Payment is a rep point for each time one of y'all says it! :D

Gray
12-10-2006, 05:06 AM
I re-draft alot! Like if I get blocked or feel lazy.

PeeDee
12-10-2006, 05:06 AM
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft

:D

scarletpeaches
12-10-2006, 05:09 AM
That's 5 rep points you owe me, PeeWee...or a heck of a lot of chocolate. :D

Willowmound
12-10-2006, 05:10 AM
I'll insert all those things I realised while writing the first draft, I needed to have had happened already. Oh yes, it confuses me too.

Look mainly at structure, pacing.

Will prettify the language a bit, but that's primarily what the third draft will be all about.

Hopefully, no more drafts needed after that. *knocks wood, does secret handshake with self, mutters in pig Latin, kisses range of pendants, crystal balls, fridge magnets etc.*

Freckles
12-10-2006, 05:33 AM
I usually let the frist draft sit for about a week and then go back to it and say, "Did I actually think this was good?" I sit there depressed for a few minutes and then tackle it paragraph by paragraph.

Soccer Mom
12-10-2006, 07:16 AM
I love the phrase. I repped Scarletpeaches. My first drafts always need lipo. My scene descriptions however need a boob job aumgentation.

Simon Woodhouse
12-10-2006, 07:19 AM
I've found that in the second draft, and all subsequent ones, the plot becomes simpler but the character relationships more complex.

Sean D. Schaffer
12-10-2006, 07:22 AM
Okay, so:

You've finished the first draft of your novel. Short story. Screenplay. Poem. Whichever.

What do you expect out of a second draft of it? What do you have to put in/take out/change/whatever to consider the second draft a success?


Usually, when I write my first draft, I put the basic storyline onto the paper. So with a second draft, I try to put more details in so that the basic storyline makes sense to me.

I generally don't start changing format or storytelling style until I begin my third draft.

So basically, a successful second draft, to me, is a draft wherein I get more length and more story into the mix, so that I can have more to work with when it comes time to work on my third draft.

Shadow_Ferret
12-10-2006, 08:10 AM
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft
liposuction of the first draft

:D

I must work differently. My first draft is usually anorexic and I need to force feed my second draft Twinkies, Big Macs and chocolate shakes to put some weight on.

Bubastes
12-10-2006, 08:40 AM
Lipo, definitely. My final drafts are consistently 15-20% shorter than my first drafts.

PeeDee
12-10-2006, 10:29 AM
I must work differently. My first draft is usually anorexic and I need to force feed my second draft Twinkies, Big Macs and chocolate shakes to put some weight on.

Sometimes, mine is too. I've always been a genetic putter-inner, not a taker-outter.

Perpexingly, though, my novels seem to be coming out pretty comfortably tight these days. There's not much excess, but I'm not sure that there's much that needs adding either. There are things I could add, but I don't think they improve anything particularly.

J.S Greer
12-10-2006, 01:32 PM
The second for me is a time to go back and polish.

I put it away for a month or so after the first draft, brush it off, and read it. Its suprising how obvious the mistakes become when you havent seent hem in a while.

steveg144
12-10-2006, 06:35 PM
Okay, so:

You've finished the first draft of your novel. Short story. Screenplay. Poem. Whichever.

What do you expect out of a second draft of it? What do you have to put in/take out/change/whatever to consider the second draft a success?

Let's see, my second draft involved: changed from 1st-person to 3rd-person, major POV rework, cleaned up major inconstencies, put chapters in proper order, tossed some sub-plots etc that went nowhere and made the narrative flabby; in short, I broke Humpty Dumpty and put him back together again.

jenfreedom
12-10-2006, 06:47 PM
During my second go-through I always scan for what I can cut. I almost always cut 40-50%. I'm way overly wordy, and chatty, and go on and on. Just pounding out a first draft and including everything (all ideas) let's me get what I want to say on paper then I tighten it up. But I write articles and copy so cutting 50% is okay if you're writing a book maybe this rule is non-useful. My third draft I polish and tighten - from there it's all checking grammer, tone, and whatnot.

See - I talk a lot. I could cut 50% of the above post and still say the exact same thing. Damn.

Take care
~ Jennifer

smiley10000
12-10-2006, 07:07 PM
I must work differently. My first draft is usually anorexic and I need to force feed my second draft Twinkies, Big Macs and chocolate shakes to put some weight on.

This is me too... although with the lipo refrence I was thinking more along the lines of giving my first draft implants... :D

The other thing I do is scene shuffling. I finalize the structure and order of things in this draft. All the trimming and nitpicky stuff is spit and polish that can be done later. If I worry about that at this point I'll end up doing it twice.

This is for novels, for short stories I generally only have two drafts... First draft and final draft. Any more work than that and it just doesn't seem worth it...

:Shrug:10000

PeeDee
12-10-2006, 07:16 PM
I do the same thing with short stories. Write it, then polish it, that's about it.

It's the same with comic scripts and poetry. Articles, in fact, are the only thing which will generally get a full-on rework as a second draft. Usually because I'm just BS-ing my way through the first draft, then I go back and make it sound like something someone would want to read.

Azure Skye
12-10-2006, 07:47 PM
Let's see. My second draft consisted of cutting about 80% of the story, tightening up the plot, cutting some beloved characters, developing the remaining characters, and getting rid of passive sentences.

In the second draft, I would hope to achieve a tighter story.

Tiger
12-10-2006, 10:24 PM
I'm not saying that this is one of my ultimate goals but, , I've noted that m Most of my successful rewrites have been shortened are shorter by about at least 40%.:D

Dave.C.Robinson
12-11-2006, 12:22 AM
I use the second draft for two things. First to get rid of the excess crap. Second to fix the plot so that all the things that need to be there are there and so that it all makes sense to me.

This is the draft that goes out to beta readers so they can catch my mistakes.