I’ve been plunking/penning away at Ch 11 for WAY too long, and I finally got the second draft all typed up tonight! WOO! Thanks to Finals and all that academic nonsense, I had to put it off every time I wanted to sit down and write. Thanks be to God and summer break, I managed to get it done tonight. Edits will always be in order, but I think my draft is pretty solid in terms of event chronology.
Red-penning the thing feels so good; I can look back over everything, fool around with placement, and decide how/where/when things go in. A lot of writers say they hate to cut things, but I disagree. Cutting things makes everything in the novel flow that much more smoothly once the chapter gets going and you think, “Oh, maybe some of this is extraneous.”
Cardinal Rule: If something sounds _________(insert adjective here)___________ in your writing, it probably is.
(Confession – Usually my adjective is “self-important”.)
So I sat and fiddled with the chapter, took most of it out, rearranged the rest, and sat back very satisfied. I always have to remember that every first draft makes me want to quit, but every second draft reminds me why I don’t.
And THAT, my friends, is how you write a second draft.