I heard someone say recently that a novelist’s First Draft is written for himself, while the Second Draft is written for the reader. I hadn’t thought about it before, especially with this particular light on it. But, it’s so very true.
When the Muse strikes and a writer sits with either pen and paper, typewriter or computer, the words that flow are not necessarily his or her best. Some of it might be, or perhaps, for those gifted writers, most of it might be perfect, but for most writers what comes out will still need tweaking.
It’s the raw words in this First Draft that comes straight from that secret well-spring of Story. It’s the voice of the character, and of the scene. It is the raw plot without investigation or analysis. It is Story in its purest form, straight from the mind to the paper, pulled along to the end by the force of the voices and the desire of the writer to complete the novel, to find out what happens in the end.
The Second Draft is often described, depending on one’s temperament and tenacity, as, the dreaded, the painful, and even sometimes as the unneccessary. It is the essential step which I personally belief is the buff and shine. Some writers may need more than this second draft, some may require up to four drafts before they deem their work ready for their readers. Some writers may describe this process as fun, and others may cringe and wail beneath the burden of such torture.
In this second run-through, the writer will answer questions. Does this scene make sense? Is this the way the character would really react? The thing to be aware of is a character will develop herself through the writing of the manuscript. By the end of the book, the writer will have learned so much about her inner conflicts, her issues, her dreams and her personality. With this knowledge he can decide if scenes and chapters follow the natural progression of this character.
More importantly, a writer will want to ensure that he is getting across the correct message. Have I said this clearly enough? Will the reader understand it? Or will she be annoyed because I’ve described too much?
It’s all about engendering a trust relationship with the reader. When I read I am placing my time in the hands of the writer, I don’t appreciate my time being wasted and neither will my readers. This is why that second edit is so incredibly important. It is the difference between writing for oneself and writing for a reader…
- Drafting (twowritingteachers.wordpress.com)
- Writer vs. First Draft (gointothestory.com)
- Zero Drafts and Unfinished Business (mappingtheedge.com)
- Editing Drafts (iverb.wordpress.com)
- Write from the Heart | Write your Story. (kimkoning.wordpress.com)