cookie control

Monday, 21 September 2015

The joys of the second come fourteen draft

I'm redrafting after completing the first draft a week or so back of my second novel 'The passing place.' Which may or may not be the final title.
This is always an odd process. having broken the habit of a life time of incomplete novels when I wrote cider lane, I have half tried to follow the same ethos with this one. that been write till its done and then and only then go back and edit. The reason been I can edit myself into a corner and get no where all too easily.
I say half tried because in this case it isn't entirely true. 'the Passing Place' was started long before Cider lane was a glint in the keyboards eye. About five years ago all told. Thus the first hundred pages or so have been written for a long time. And as I did not follow the ethos of write it right to the end back then they have been edited and re-edited respectably over the last five years.
So for the first 100 pages or so this is more like a final edit than a second draft. Then it will be a second draft for the other 200 pages of the novel.
Which is all a bit odd, and in truth I should probably have started at the middle and drafted form there. But I always redraft the whole novel start to finish. Which is my advice as an approach to anyone. Not least because that's how the magic happens I guess. Here's a secret, all those cunning little twists and turns in the plot , those tiny clues you miss completely until latter on when you realise they were there at the start. Most of the time they weren't. At least not in the first draft.
I can only speak for myself, but I suspect this is true of most writers, when we go back to do the second draft we put the little clever bits in.
So even though what i am working on at the moment is the fourteen draft of the first third of this novel, I am still adding the clever bits as I did not know they needed to be there till I knew how it all finished.
Which leads me to a favourite quote, "A novel is a long piece of prose with something wrong with it." According to +Neil Gaiman.
There is still much wrong with this particular novel. But the first third is more or less done at least. Now the clever bits are in there.