Second draft is finished!!

This post is just about me and my writing progress, so not of much use to anyone else trying to write anything else.  But I couldn’t finish the second draft of my novel and NOT post about it.

It weighs in at a nice and respectable 87K words.  Much better than the 55K in the first draft.  (As I mentioned at some point before, I tend to under-write in my first drafts, especially the more emotionally charged the story is.) 

I think I actually tightened up a lot of that 55K, so the second draft is probably at least 45K words of new text.  I added a few subplots to this draft, combined a few background characters into one to make stronger secondary characters.  Definitely an improvement.

It’s weird to see how much my writing improved through the second draft.  (Scary, too, because it probably means I still have a long, long way to go with my writing and I just can’t see it right now.)  A lot of times, even if I was keeping a scene, I ended up rewriting big chunks of it to tighten up the prose or add more sensory detail.  And, the closer I was to the end, the more the story had shifted and I needed to incorporate that into each character’s dialogue and actions.

In my first draft I had this obsessiveness about making sure that it was clear which character was being referred to at all times.  (I hate having to reread a paragraph because I can’t tell who did what.)  I’d definitely overdone it in the first go round.  Hopefully I’ve backed off enough this time to make it clear, but not painful.

I guess we’ll see in a month or so when I pull it back out of the drawer.  (Assuming I don’t get into that writers’ workshop at which point I’ll have to set it aside for much longer.  I may still pull it out of the drawer and read through and mark it up, but hold off on entering any edits until I get feedback…we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it.  Odds of getting into that workshop are about 1 in 100?)

I also sent off another short story I’d been working on that had been giving me fits.  My betas read it and said they liked it, but they didn’t actually get what the story was saying, which was on me for failing to convey the premise appropriately.  So, five drafts later, I expanded it a lot and tightened it up even more (seems to be a common theme) and I think it now at least tells the story I meant to tell.  Whether anyone enjoys it is another question entirely, but I have high hopes for this one.  (Although it’s also part of the reason I decided to unfriend about fifty people on Facebook over the last few weeks…If it ever gets published somewhere I’ll link and explain.)

Anyway.  I may take a few days and get the hell away from any form of technology, so if you don’t see posts for a few days, that would be why.

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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