Rewriting

by SJ Griffin

That thing I was talking about doing in my last post (scroll down in a bit, it’s easier than a link)? Well, I did it. And it worked haven preserve us all.

Result: I have finished the third draft.

A long, long, long time ago, when we were all young, I think when I was working on the second draft of The Vanguard, I wrote about how a good strategy was to read your first draft and fix all the big issues first. Big issues would be that missing plot point, or that character that shows up halfway through and does something weird because you didn’t write something in chapter three. Small things are words. Words being in the wrong order. Words not being the right ones. Words being spelled in an alternative way that might have worked for some American writers in the 1970s but doesn’t work for you now. Because now we understand them to be TYPOS. I’m great at typos so this is a huge pity. And a hgue ptiy. I remember looking at the pile of pages that made up the first draft of The Vanguard and wondering how to fix it was really daunting so it worked for me.

This is still a good and strategy but I think I would insert a draft in the process of finishing a book which would be approached like this:

  • Go through your draft and colour code it by theme. For example, family, school, village, fantasy world.
  • Read through all the red bits making whatever small changes you like and noting down big issues.
  • Read through all the yellow bits, then the blue bits, etc etc.

The next job is to go through the list of issues and fix them. So, that’s what I will do now. Then when I have done that I will maybe collate all these posts and make them into a excellent and widely loved manual of how to write a book.

Only kidding. Then I will do draft five.

Because writing? Is rewriting.

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