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Long time readers may recall in 2016, I completed my first draft of Follow Me: Tattered Veils. Only I didn’t know it was my first draft, I thought my manuscript was complete and began to query agents.
I did this even though I was not happy with my first chapter and knew it was a bad hook.
I did this even though I knew the manuscript rambled and barely held together as a story.
I did this even though my main character is unlikeable and awkward.
How could I call the manuscript complete with these huge flaws? How could I query? It’s simple: I’ve always loved Follow Me: Tattered Veils and I had taken the manuscript as far as I knew how to carry it. Isn’t selling the next step?
I shudder at my ignorance, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I wrote other stories, and I workshopped Follow Me: Tattered Veils in between. After letting it rest about a year, I began rewrites.
Where the first draft came out in patches over the course of two years, with multiple deleted scenes only I’ve read. I finished the second draft in nine months. My planning and speed increased. It took a year of thinking, but I knew better than ever what story I wanted to tell.
So what’s different?
The order, I’ve joined “kick ass first chapter club.” My plot. Follow Me: Tattered Veils tells two stories. The first draft told Gerry’s story, but I needed to develop Roxi’s. No one liked Roxi because no one knew her well. The second draft opens up and gives Roxi time to be herself.
I wrote twelve new chapters. Of the twelve new chapters, eight are Roxi centric. Sharing more social interactions, scenes, and pivotal moments in her life. These moments create chemistry in my cast.
Beyond those eight Roxi centric chapters, two of those chapters are about Gerry discovering new insights into Roxi. So audiences get Gerry’s twisted narration of Roxi where Roxi would be more tight-lipped. What Gerry says about Roxi isn’t gospel truth, but it has a certain ring of truthiness. I’m using the audience’s interest in Gerry to make them interested in Roxi. *Does and evil victory dance*
These were my “big changes,” but the second draft overhauled everything. Awkward wording, repetitive phrasing, and verb tense shifts are some elements I tackled. I clarified each of my character’s voices. I deleted massive amounts of their “thoughts” and made the few casual insights have depth.
Why talk about this now? I wanted to write about my drafting process and insights while I drafted, but I feared pausing the process would derail my work. Now as I wait on my copy editor I have nothing but time to reflect.
Talk to me. What does your drafting process look like? What are the biggest changes from first draft to second draft? Are you like me where you believe each itteration is the “final” product or do you have a better sense of when your WIP is done?
Looking for more posts about the writing and publishing process? Check out more posts on my novel publication process: Going Through Copy Edits, 1st Daft vs 2nd Draft, Goal Planning: Getting Through the First Draft, My Character Looks Nothing Like My MC, Cover Art: Truth in Advertising, and Post Book Launch: Reflections.
Want to know more about my novel? Check out my childhood stories recapping themes in my life I hope prepared me to write this book: Remember the Magic of Santa?, Closet Monsters: Gone too Far?, and Garden Gnomes and other Evils.
OR check out my series where I find similarities between my novel and other popular media. Hopefully it gives you a better idea whether there are elements in my book you may enjoy. Lost Girl Comparison, American Gods Comparison, and The O.A. Comparison.
MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON!!! Please go look at "Follow Me: Tattered Veils" and see if it might be a story that interests you.