Second Draft Observations

In the thick of my second draft of Dark House. Here are some observations I’ve had so far.

Rewriting isn’t as scary as it seems – As I’ve mentioned in a couple of other posts, there was a major character trait that I had to write out of the first half of the book, because it wasn’t fitting into the story properly. I also had to completely rewrite the first chapter, because I just didn’t like it anymore. As I finished up the last few chapters of the first draft, I was dreading going back and rewriting.

Surprise, surprise, rewriting hasn’t been that bad! It took me a couple of hours to rewrite the first chapter. Writing out the unwanted character trait took about three hours. Those hours flew by, the experience wasn’t nearly as painful as I had imagined it might be.

Writing is easier because I know my characters – I’ve come across a few “that character would never say/do that” moments as I’ve started editing. It’s easier to add new scenes and fix existing ones than it was the early days, because I have a firm grip on what my character’s motivations are.

It’s harder to get motivated to start working – I enjoy editing, I really do, but when I’m tired (which is most of the time), its easier to start writing new material than it is to start editing. The fun of a first draft is you don’t have to think overly hard about what you’re writing. I have to think about things like door continuity when I edit.

Publishing seems farther away than ever – When I think about all the stuff I have to fix, and all the formatting and other stuff I have to figure out to get this thing self-published, I get overwhelmed. I just want it to be done, for so many reasons. I know if I keep my head down and work it will be done before I know it.

I’m questioning my writing ability more than ever – I recommend to my future self that reading writing advice during early drafting is not a good idea. If one person says they hate it when writers use the dialogue tag “growled”, and I know I used it once or twice, I go into this anxiety spiral thinking I’m a horrible writer and should never have written a book in the first place. Some things work in some contexts and not in others. It’s too early to think about word choice that deeply yet.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’d really love to get Dark House released this year, so I’m working hard on it.

Authors, did anything about writing the second draft of your book surprise you?