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Blog // Thoughts
October 7, 2014

Moving On From The Second Draft

Second drafts are always bloated. It’s been the same experience for years now. Notes are always lean. The first draft is messy and around 60-70% of the target length. Then the second draft always balloons out as ideas are nuanced, developed and expanded (here’s something on my writing process from last month). If I were […]

Second drafts are always bloated. It’s been the same experience for years now. Notes are always lean. The first draft is messy and around 60-70% of the target length. Then the second draft always balloons out as ideas are nuanced, developed and expanded (here’s something on my writing process from last month).

If I were to publish my book in its current state, it would be over 300 pages, having grown from a 29,127 word first draft to a 60,624 word second draft! From here, the final draft is all about tightening things up and I expect the manuscript will shrink by at least 10% before it goes to the printers.

My final draft mantra is “if in doubt, delete.” In trying to make the ideas easier to understand, the answer sometimes lies in substituting words and phrases, but more often than not, the solution is just cutting words out all together. Occasionally, more drastic surgery is required as whole sentences and paragraphs are collapsed into each other to produce leaner and more coherent prose.

I’ve shared samples of book cover ideas with my mailing list (you can sign up here) and today I settled on the final design. Despite feeling a little weary, the whole process is coming along well and I’m really looking forward to sharing more details about the book later this month!

Second-Draft-Writing

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