Last week I declared my first draft officially finished. This week I struggled with how to set daily targets for the second draft. I couldn’t use my usual word count, as I didn’t want the disincentive to delete words freely.
I tried to decide if it should be a certain number of pages or scenes per day…but keep in mind that this is the second draft, not the editing draft ie I am still getting characterisation, scene order and pacing, plot points and so on in order, not debating word use with myself, which comes last.
That means some pages/scenes are pretty much good to go for now. I’d get to open the file, take five seconds to go ‘yep, that scene’s good, I’m done’ and take the day off…whereas the next day, the ‘scene’ might be a paragraph explaining what the still-needs-to-be written scene is supposed to achieve, so I’d have a good solid four or five hours of writing in front of me. It doesn’t make for even targets like a word count does.
In the end, I fell back on the technique I have used with my last two novels. I started with a blank document. With my first draft open beside it, I started re-writing from scratch. I don’t even copy and paste using this method, I manually re-type it, even when I’m mostly happy with it. I didn’t set a target, though I will have to do so if I find myself getting less done than I would like.
Next week, I’m on holiday. Normal posts are scheduled, but there’ll be no Sunday ‘How I Did’, because, frankly, I hope to do nothing but go hiking and eat good Italian food.