Update – Novel Draft : BIG Edits

Tile Design 2What’s your opinion of first drafts?

Back in October 2012 I hand-wrote my version of the Na No Wri novel.  Here’s the past posts if you are interested in knowing more.  (My Version of Na No Wri Mo; NaNoWri Week 1; NaNoWri Week 2; NaNoWri Week 3; NaNoWri Week 4;
NaNoWri Made Goal; NaNoWri Characters ).

As an update, the main protagonist is a seven-year old girl and the story centers on the adventures of a particular summer, and some life-changing events.  Not sure yet if this is a coming-of-age story, adventure story, family saga……………………..

Only recently did I finally finish typing the handwritten, can’t-exactly-call-it-a-manuscript, draft.  Let the editing begin!!  But where to start?

Evaluate the Typed Mess:  Part story, part notes,  some research, opening written on 24th day, character names kept changing…and…and…I’m thinking my way through this process.

Begin with Big Edits:
1.  First I went chapter by chapter and separated out what was story and what was not.  The NOT included notes, research, plot ideas for other places, thread ideas, background etc.  Whatever was not specifically “story”, I moved to another file.

2.  Moved chapters around.  Remember I said that I wrote the opening on the 24th day, well that chapter now moved to the beginning.  I began to see the manuscript as beginning, middle and end, or Set-up, Heat-up, and End-up.   I moved chapters around accordingly.

3.  To Do:  Still need to decide on characters’ names and then do Search & Replace.

4.  To Do:  I need to do another sweep of the chapter-flow, reading and looking more closely at the manuscript-flow, and tightening the story-flow up.  Move things around again.

5. To Do:  Some chapters are all narration, so another Big Edit would be to rewrite in scene.

6.  To Do:  Continue working on character profiles.

There may be more big edits before I move to small ones like word choice, correcting tenses, but that will be another post.

I will admit that the manuscript first draft is Crap, Shit, and all those other things I’ve read about first drafts.  I can’t remember who said it, but “all the writing is in the re-writing”.  I have a lot of work ahead of me before I can say this is a novel and an even longer time before I would consider sharing it.  More updates to follow.

Tile Design 1


About Wings of Wonder

Linda Ruddy is a creative with a diverse range of interests in writing and painting. She currently is revising a middle grade novel, and author and illustrating a picture story book. She is an active member of SCBWI, Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators. Linda has a body of paintings, which form the foundation of her artistic development. This work can be viewed on her website: www.lindaruddyart.com Her recent illustrations are an outgrowth of the style she developed in these paintings. Another passion is sculpture. Linda often uses her figures as models for her art. Linda's blog is eclectic and journeys wherever her muse guides her attention. Her blog address is: www.wingsofwonder.wordpress.com Following the muse, Linda Ruddy
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10 Responses to Update – Novel Draft : BIG Edits

  1. marilynscottwaters says:

    This is so wonderful that you are polishing your novel. How cool is that? Keep writing! Hugs, M

  2. robin says:

    Thanks so much for sharing your process! You go, Linda!!

  3. The first draft is supposed to be crap. The second draft is a better version of crap. By the third draft things really start to get rolling. 🙂

    • I’m looking forward to when things start picking up speed. If every writer goes through this same process, then my admiration for writers is moving up, up, and up!


  4. I think of them as layers. You get the basic white cake (first draft), they you have to trim the edges (2nd), then you throw fill it with ganache (3rd), and the final edit is like the final layer of icing. And what a nice product at the end. I’d say you are on your way to a fabulous manuscript.

  5. Shannon says:

    I think the first draft is basically your ideas getting down on paper. After that it’s organizing those ideas and building upon them. But sometimes too many edits and I lose interest.

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