To the edit! Second drafts abound.

blank sheet in a typewriter

 

Hello,

Since last time, I have received some hints and tips regarding the planning and execution of a romantic tale. Giselle Marks, author (most recently the Fencing Master’s Daughter. See the link for more details https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fencing-Masters-Daughter-Giselle-Marks/dp/1492815276/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8) and all round lovely person, provided useful guidance, which I will be looking to use when I tackle the second draft of that story. I’m planning to review my romance after leaving it for a few weeks to stew.

Speaking of second drafts, I’ve managed to start to edit two other short stories. The edits have been fairly successful so far but I still have plenty to do. I have managed to pull up some more questions about each piece of writing. Particularly, what is the theme of my story? Have I conveyed this theme well enough? Have I managed to help each character grow and develop throughout? What are the challenges? What are my characters goals? Why did I even write the thing in the first place?

Now, I know most of the answers to these questions but in some cases, particularly regarding theme and growth of characters, I have found that I need to add more detail. Thankfully I do not think I need to add too much but I know more is needed. For instance, with my story about an immortal man in Manchester trying to find his reason for being, I have focused on this but only realised at the end of the story that the other two main characters in the story, a would-be love interest and another immortal who wants more than to just help our hero find his place in the world, do not have much in the way of growth. I have described them but not provided them with any depth.

I have also found in the other story, concerning the end of the world and those who wish to take over it (giant worms) and those who wish to survive it (a recently broken up young couple) that two out of the three main characters have enough character growth. At least it’s more than the other story, right? Anyway, I again now know what to change, or at least where to begin changing, when I continue my second drafts. I always used to look at second drafts as a thing to sort out grammar and punctuation but I know now that is a separate edit altogether. The second draft is a big and powerful thing.

I have had help along the way as well. I’m currently reading Stephen King: On Writing (A Memoir of the Craft). He goes into sweet detail about how he thinks the second draft should go and it has been very useful. I have not been approaching my second drafts with the mindset and that’s where I’ve been going wrong I think. Though, that probably does not fully explain why none of my previous competition entries over the years have failed. Or maybe it could? Three cheers for progress. I just wish it had come sooner.

Okay. I’m going to go back to it. Have a good week.

Bye!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, one of my plans is working!

Hello

Last time out I said that I was going to write and/or edit as soon as I got home from work whilst my work brain was still on so I made sure write and/or something every day. So far it looks to have been a success. On the editing front anyway.

I’m currently in the throes of editing my story for the http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/the-bfs-short-story-competition-2015/, which is due to close for entries on 30.06.15. Now, I had already written my story and have slowly but surely over the last three been editing it into something I am close to being proud of and close to entering into the aforementioned competition. This editing has been done in small doses, maybe two or three pages at a time, but it is working. As for the other story I am writing, I’m going to put that on pause until after this one is all done and dusted and entered.

So, to the story at hand. To sum it up, it centres on an immortal man who has been roaming the earth, learning and earning as he goes, and is now searching for the meaning of his existence. Surely an immortal man cannot just come into being and wander around aimlessly? Well, that is really what he has been doing and his frustration has been given plenty of time to grow. In fact it has grown to the extent that he will break his one, self-imposed law, to try and finally find what he is looking for. But when he does find it, will it turn out to be all he has ever wanted?

Currently I’m a bit in limbo about that question. I could give him everything he wants but should it be that easy? I’m thinking it shouldn’t be so straight and clean. I am close to answering this question though. I might just flip a coin. Both endings I have in mind are as good as each other but I am a little bit biased towards one. But along with that I another little thing I have to get ironed out.

Due to my immortal man having walked the earth for 114 years he has become polite and well spoken. This means I have decided that he cannot use I’m when he should use I am. And all of the other contractions that people use in everyday life. Do you know how frustrating it is to think that you’ve gotten rid of all the I’m’s only to find there are about five more you’ve missed when you edit it again? And every edit seems to bring up more! Easy now. Calm yourself.

Well, I have successfully wound myself up. I’m going to get…I am going to get back to the edit.

Goodbye