Monday’s Writing Tips – The Second Draft

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We have been working on one chapter of your novel. Let’s recap.

First, we striped it down to the bones by removing all adjectives and adverbs. Afterwards we checked the validity of our bare bones plot.

Second, we added unique and powerful adjectives as necessary. Instead of adding adverbs we looked for powerful verbs that would make adverbs unnecessary.

 Third, we added to our descriptions of places and events to inspire the reader’s imagination.  Next, we introduced our character’s description with action and unusual adjectives. It was all hard work but this made our work our own.

Fourth, we then looked to the beginning sentences. We are writers and it is about more than telling a story. It is grabbing a reader with words that entice them, words that make your fans think and hunger for more. The beginning of your chapter should be quotable!

Fifth, we checked the end of the chapter for a hook. An action or mystery that would make the reader anxious to get to the next chapter.

Sixth, we checked the rhythm of our words and sentences. Do we use run-on sentences or short choppy sentences? Does the beat of the sentences fit the action or mood that we are trying to convey? Do we mix long and short sentences? The best way to check all of this is the next step.

Now Read the entire chapter out loud!  Reading out loud is one of the best ways to check the flavor of your work. Doesn’t it read more professionally then that first draft? Isn’t it better now that the edits are done?  I fix mistakes on the spot.

Do this with every chapter in your novel and you have created your second draft! I wait until I am done with my second draft to check spelling and grammar. You would be surprised how many writers skip the ‘spell check’ available on the simplest program. Do a spell and grammar check. I have heard so many editors say that they turned down a manuscript because it was obvious that the writer didn’t even take the time to use the spell and grammar check. If you don’t care enough to perfect your work – why should they care about it!

Once you are done with all your chapters, spell and grammar check the entire novel. Again, find the time to read the entire work out loud. It is during this reading of the entire novel that you will find those tiny glitches that occurred during your previous edits. Did you change the character’s hair color in chapter one but miss the change when she tossed her hair in chapter three? Did you change the name of the business in the middle of the novel but miss the change in the beginning? READ THE ENTIRE BOOK OUT LOUD ALL AT ONCE! SET ASIDE AN AFTERNOON TO DO THIS!

Now and only now are you ready to create the third draft. However you can take a break! The next step is to send the manuscript to a PROFESSIONAL PAID EDITOR.  Let’s talk about finding an editor next week.

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