Setting, Writers on Writing

Writing the second draft

The Story Thus Far
My story thus far is full of dialog but lacking in the description department. How about yours? | The Story Thus Far (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy first day of autumn!

I am currently working my way through draft #2 of the novel I wrote for the Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. What goes into a second draft probably varies from one writer to the next. Dialog and action come easy for me. Description? Not so much. I can do description, but it simply does not pour out of me as dialog does. For me, description takes a lot of work.

When writing my first draft, I literally listen to the voices in my head and write down what they say. I am nothing more than a glorified court reporter. The result is what I think is an exciting story that is set in the empty expanse of Vagueland. While the dialog thrills me, the average reader would be lost in an attempt to determine where and when, exactly, this story takes place. I can picture it, but I haven’t yet built it on the page.

And so, we move on to our second draft. For me, the second draft means figuring out the details of where my story takes place and bringing that setting to life for my future readers. This stage is excruciating. For me, anyway.

My second draft will require a great deal of staring out the window and picturing myself in my story’s setting. I will work out some details in my head at night while I sleep, then sit down and freewrite. As I wrote the first draft, there were several spots where I made notes to myself to come back later and describe certain elements in more detail. I guess that’s as good a place to start revising as any.

Where will you start your second draft? Please share in the comments below.

~Amanda L. Webster

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