Lessons From a Second Draft

When I started my current project, I didn't have a formal outline. I knew the characters, the overall situation, and most of the ending, and I then just went with it.

Next time, I'm going to plan more.

I'm happier with my progress since I've been in full-on second draft mode, but getting to this point took longer than it should have. Part of that was my fixation on going back to monkey with earlier chapters before the draft was done (despite how many times I've heard to write a whole story before editing).

I got caught up in this flood of new ideas and changes, and I kept going back to make what I'd already written reflect them. I guess I was worried that I'd forget things, or that some of those different directions wouldn't seem to work after I'd reviewed earlier chapters. There was one major story upheaval that those immediate corrections helped to refine, but everything else could have waited.

Now I'm keeping a file of all the stuff I change, and I'll do one big consistency pass to get at those details before sending my draft out for feedback. It's the kind of thing I should have been doing all along, but I guess I need to learn some things the slow way.

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