I’m writing this early, as I’m off for a long weekend. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I finished the second draft.
I had one of those fantastic ah-ha moments just before I pre-prepared this post: a character motivation became clear and it then made a scene make perfect sense. At first, I was thinking I couldn’t use it because that character serves a particular function which this new motivation wrecked…but then I remembered I had introduced another minor character somewhere else who was also serving that function – now I can eliminate redundancy and turn the first character to my purposes.
Here’s a question: why did it take me until the absolute end of the second pass through before I figured out my theme is actually loyalty rather than what I thought it was going to be when I started? And I didn’t even figure it out from the interactions of the main characters, which is nothing but who is loyal to who and why, but the actions of a minor villain. Slow, much?
Anyway, next step is the third draft. I am now technically happy with the way the story goes and the function/purpose of each scene. The third draft is aiming at tidying up every scene, and perhaps shifting some scenes (this is the first time I have had two POVs, so knowing what order to put each of their – mostly separate – scenes and where to break into the other storyline etc has been an interesting learning experience) or the information given in particular scenes, to earlier or later in the narrative.
I also am going to start cutting, which I am cautiously optimistic about – it’s another first for me, to actually get so many words that I can afford to cut swathes out.
As I’ve said before, draft 2 is incredibly messy; for example, I have at time just dumped in some random dialogue I need at around that point which is completely counter to what was just happening and then has no impact on what happens next. However, I do feel the plot and the character motivations are now stable and therefore the scenes can now be stable.
Week off (from the novel; I am going to try to get a short story written as my fiction goal), then back to it.