Oh, how I long for the days of the first draft. The freedom, the creativity, the wondering where the characters will take you next. Being able to follow the characters down a rabbit hole with no fear. How I complained when writing the first draft. If only I had known that the rewrite was waiting around the corner for me, ready to pounce and make me do actual real work.
*beats off plot bunnies with a baseball bat*
Whoever said this writing malarkey was easy, eh?
The appeal of abandoning ship when the going gets rough is veryyyyy strong. Especially when the ship starts taking on water and salvaging it is JUST TOO DAMN HARD.
Yes, Mr Plot Bunny, I would like to jump down this rabbit hole and do anything but save that ship.
WELL I CAN’T THOUGH.
*kicks plot bunnies back*
Rewriting can be really tough. That’s where the real work comes in, when you have to take that hot mess of a first draft and make it into something even more amazing than you already thought it was (read: fix it). There is a lot of fear that comes with the rewrite. Fear of changing things, fear of making it worse, fear of losing some intrinsic element that made that first draft good.
Fear not! For you can always go back. Rewriting doesn’t mean chucking everything out and starting over. That’s called writing another first draft. The first draft is pretty much getting the story in place, working out what kind of story you want to tell, and figuring out who your characters are. After that, you can go back, rip it out, and get the structure more stable so you can start building on the foundations the first draft provided you with.
The second draft, I’ve found, is very much so about getting the concept, themes, and structure solid in your own mind. At least this was the case for me. Not that I got the whole way through said second draft (and said second draft had about fifteen different beginnings before I was able to get any further than chapter two *sob*). But I still count it since it has *hopefully* sorted out the beginning that went on wayyyy too long for its own good *hopefully*. Now it’s time to start again and get draft 2.5 underway (I’m calling it that since draft two didn’t get to the end).
Now, the main story arc is remaining the same – I don’t intend to ever change that. Just the route they are taking to get there may alter. Who knows? I’m going to try to leave the first draft behind insofar as I can, since clinging to it was always my problem starting out on this journey. I wrote a lot of new stuff for draft two, and I do intend to keep a good portion of that for draft 2.5 – for better or for worse, we’ll find out by the end of it.
The main thing I’m learning through this journey is that this process is something that takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and discipline. The latter I have most definitely been lacking in, hence why it has taken me so long to get to this point. But, most importantly, I am learning. And I will eventually get there one day.
Meanwhile, I have far too many plot bunnies dancing around my head to handle. No wonder I am making ZERO PROGRESS with my rewrite. *Must. Resist. Plot bunnies*
What about you guys? Anyone else in the throws of rewriting too? How are you finding the process?
If you have any thoughts or questions, please let me know in the comments below. I love hearing from you guys!