Then Comes the Second Draft

Recently when I haven’t been inwardly gushing at how darling sweet little Clara is or marveling at hitting a big milestone or traveling or going to weddings or hanging out with family members or trying to actually keep up with life and work, I’ve been mildly freaking out.

See, I finished the first draft of When Life Hands You Lymes back in the middle of April, dutifully waited the six weeks before looking at it again and then… instead of eagerly devouring the book like I had been planning on I was so overwhelmed that I didn’t even want to think about it. Much less look at it or work on reading through it. The thought of starting on the second draft? Ha! That made me feel like crying. And I’m not even being dramatic here.

It’s not fun having a such a huge part of my life fell so utterly tiring and out of reach and beyond my ability to work with. See, not only did I spend 465 days writing the book, but I spent seven years researching it. (Yeah, that’s a fancy way to say I had Lyme disease for seven years and when I call those years “research” it makes me feel a little bit better.) The point is I have a lot invested in this book. Which is probably why the thought of reading through it was so daunting.

I mean, what if it is absolutely horrible? I know that at one point it was because draft 1 is actually more like draft 1 & 1/2 because part way through I went back and deleted about 30,000 or so words because they were horrible and the main character was a whiny mess who I detested and wanted to lecture her on how the world didn’t revolve around her sorry little me-centered self. Plus, I needed to start the story at a totally new place, two years after the original first draft started.

Also, there was the problem that I constantly switched back and forth between first person past tense and first person present tense with the point of view and knowing I need to change that is a little bit overwhelming. At least I don’t head hop any more like I used to do constantly. (Hey! I’m growing as a writer. It’s a good thing.)

And then of course theres the whole “Do I have enough character development in there?” question because this is my first full length novel and in kid mysteries there’s not a ton of character development to be had. Pretty much character development has me shaking in my bare feet because it’s a daunting task. I don’t want my MC to be totally unloveable at the beginning but I don’t want her to be an angel at the end. Plus of course I don’t want it to come across the wrong way.

Oh, and when we’re talking about things that make me overwhelmed, we’ll just go ahead and mention the supporting character cast. Yeah. Deep breath. Other than the MC there are six characters who are in the book a lot: Madalyn’s parents, two brothers, sister and best friend. (I like family-ish people.) The first draft I focused mainly on Madalyn and what she’s going through but I know I’m going to need to delve into at least some of the other characters more and that’s a bit ahhh-ish to me. (Meaning freaky.)

All this to say that I haven’t even wanted to read the WIP, much less begin work on it. So it sat there. And sat there. And several times a day I would think Am I ready to read it? and the answer was always in the negative. 
Then on Saturday when we were on our way to an out-of-state wedding my brain suddenly was like “Ok, you can read the book now.” which was pretty cool and so I quickly pulled it up on my phone and began reading. And I actually enjoyed it. Quite a bit. There were actually times when I was like Wait, I wrote this? which is a good sign. 
This morning I read a little bit more and I’m now fully convinced that the book has potential. I’m excited about reading the rest of the book. I’m even more excited about sharing the book with others. That’s what makes me want to hurry and get the book through the second draft and then the third one. 
My original thoughts when I finished the first draft was to be done with the second draft (of part one) by my birthday (Sept. 30th) and then have the third draft done by Christmas time so I could get it off to beta readers by the end of the year. I’m not sure if those dates are what I’ll be aiming toward now, but at least I’m getting ready for take off which is a good thing. A very good thing. 
* * *
What about you? Do you have something big in your life that you’ve just completed or are working on? I’d be delighted to hear! 

3 thoughts on “Then Comes the Second Draft

  1. Allison says:

    It is encouraging to hear how revisions are going and that I am not the only one that feels overwhelmed. And I am only beginning to write my novel. 🙂 Keep plugging away; you got this!


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