While my upcoming book, The Bow of Destiny is with my editor for the last time. I’ve been working on the second book in the series, An Arrow Against the Wind. This next book is still a rough draft that I had originally thought might be near completion. However, I made a vital change to the whole series and stripped out a subplot to develop in a parallel series. The result was a much shorter draft of An Arrow Against the Wind.
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So I took a look at the book and decided there were holes in the draft that needed filling with several more chapters and scenes. There was just too much of the story left out in my original thinking. I’ve worked through the original ending of the book so last month I wrote with the idea of adding the rest of the scenes and chapters to complete the rough draft.
But then I realized my error in thinking. Once I complete the last chapter, the rough draft is complete. Anything I need to change or add after that would fall under being a structural edit. In other words, I didn’t need to plan so much work for the month. I needed to plan for editing at a later date.
Why this is important to me as a writer is that I get to finish a major goal which allows me to move onto other projects and goals without worrying too much over details. I also get to exercise what I’ve learned about structural edits from working with a few editors. I can apply this editing experience to improving my rough draft rather than thinking I have to get it perfect the first go around.
So that’s what I’m planning with the next book. I’ll do a structural revision by adding the missing scenes and chapters and then worry about more structural details by revising existing chapters for consistency with The Bow of Destiny. This way I can schedule my activities around other necessities and prepare for sending out short stories and work on book release details.
With the experience I’ve gained working on the first book, I look forward to releasing the second one much sooner. My development calendar is much less stuffed than expected with long periods of editing. Rather, I’ve got specific goals to achieve over shorter expected time-frames.
What’s your approach to ending a rough draft vs restructuring your manuscripts? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. I’d also love to connect with you over social media so check my Contact page for that information. I’ve updated the site with a new landing page but you can still view the News page for announcements. As part of the changes, new email subscribers will receive my free new guide, 15 Must Have Apps for Self-Publishing Authors. Sign-up today! I’ve added a new sign-up tab on my FaceBook page to simplify the process. Also, the cover of my book, The Bow of Destiny, was revealed recently so take a look.
I tend to be anal when writing, so my first draft is 85% of what my final book will be, but the last couple books haven’t worked out that way. I usually have an idea of where I’d like to add to scenes or put in new scenes by the time I’m done with my draft, so it’s easy to add them in when I transcribe (rewrite) my novel. I’ve also taken to moving chapters around if needed, which can be VERY confusing. lol
One thing I started doing to make it easier is to make a note in the manuscript as I’m writing to flesh it out more or add a scene if I’m cruising on another part. Depending on how well things are flowing, I may come back to it when I finish the current chapter or when I type it up. It’s one of the benefits to handwriting everything. lol
Thanks for sharing your process. I’ve taken to adding in empty documents in my manuscript where I see I need to add scenes/chapters. I suppose I’m beginning to view my rough draft as just that and then adding/adjusting structure before revising so I can move toward a more polished draft. I think maybe some books are more rough than others which is fine either way.
You’re welcome. I agree. Each book has its own life in a way, so it makes sense some would be rougher than others. It’s not a problem, just needs a little more TLC. 🙂