It’s been a hard couple of weeks, let me tell you.
As the expression goes, sometimes you need a vacation from/after your vacation to recover.
Our holiday vacation was great but boy did we move around. A lot. When it was over and we got back we did some more moving around before finally returning home. The next day it was back to work and its been crushing the amount of it to deal with.
On the writing front, it was only this week that I’ve finally been able to get back into Book #8 of the Corrosive Knights saga.
When I left it toward the end of 2019, I had the first draft done. Understand, the first draft of any work of mine doesn’t necessarily mean all the details are in place and all I have to do is tidy up some sentences here and there and release the book.
In this case, what I had was a very rough map of the book but an incomplete one. There were parts I wrote which I knew I would go back and change and/or eliminate. There were other parts that would require compression or expansion. I left the book in 2019 also knowing that there were more scenes I needed to come up with to add to the overall story.
As incomplete as that first draft of the book was, however, I had my road map and I now knew where/how the book began, played out, and ended. It may sound obvious but when I began this book I had no clear idea of any of those elements.
Truly, I entered the book blind, which can be kinda scary but also incredibly liberating.
As I worked on that first draft, I had a couple of introductory sequences written which I will likely eliminate entirely. It’s the price one pays for figuring out a book on the spot: Your first ideas may wind up being useless.
What they do is get your mind in gear, moving and thinking about possibilities and with that, ideas which might work out.
Slowly, at times very painfully, I’d realize certain things simply weren’t working despite my best efforts. Yet in that failure I often -though not always- found alternatives, ideas that did work and which were expanded upon. It seemed for every idea that failed, there would be another that didn’t, and slowly, ever so slowly, that first draft started to take shape over the course of roughly a year, until just before the vacation I had that one breakthrough that wrapped it all up and made me realize I had a book.
This week, as I stated, I started working on it again after my vacation. Beginning this second draft entails First reading Through my first draft and eliminating all that stuff I said didn’t work, tightening up the stuff that does, and expanding where the book needs it. Plenty of red marker notes, scratched sentences/paragraphs/pages, and much use of sticky notes. Once that’s done I get to the computer and put all those notes into the book while eliminating what needs to go.
In many, perhaps even most ways, the second draft of this book will very much be a part of the formal writing process and, when all is done, I expect the book to contain most, if not all, the elements I need in it.
Thus Draft #2 is like an extension of Draft #1. Perhaps to other writers it may well be that, and they view any draft which involves creative writing versus proofreading as part of the first draft process.
Regardless, for me this is crunch time and while there are moments of elation in going over this draft, there are certain to be plenty of moments of hard, hard, hard work.
Despite what it may seem like, writing ain’t easy. It takes -at least for me- total concentration and no distractions and easily chews up your time.
Yet the most beautiful thing in the world is holding your latest novel in your hand and thinking: I did that.
I can’t wait to feel that again…!