Saturday 2 October 2010


I have never done "drafts" before. I've always revised each chapter as I go along, and have never understood what 1st, 2nd, 3rd drafts etc are exactly for. Until now.

When I gaily (well anxiously) sent off the WIP to my agent, I expected her to say a simple yes or no (this is what has always happened before, with MNW). But what she said (after suggesting - no, ordering, though ever so nicely - a great many alterations) was: "this is the first draft". Which came as a bit of a shock.

I was reminded of this because several other MNWs, too, are apparently writing (or have just written) 2nd or 3rd drafts of their novels. Some have said they really enjoy the process. I, however, was not looking forward to it.

But now that I've started, I'm beginning to see the attraction. I have the structure; the beginning, the end and most of the plot have my agent's approval; so I can just work on improving the bits in between. I don't have to worry about what happens next - I know what happens next - I can just go on re-writing and re-writing until I get it right. I haven't got to think up a new plot. Not yet, anyway. And I'm still being creative.

I could get used to this!


  1. Top! Got to be approaching with a positive attitude, I think. My usual first draft readers are mulling over my offering right now (before it goes to the agent) - nervewracking, waiting for judgement.

  2. Glad you're coming to appreciate the beauties of the rewriting process Frances. I've just got back from a weekend in Oxford and am avid to get back to mine. So now I'm off to it!

  3. Hi Aliya and Alis. Yes - I feel this could become seriously addictive. In fact, there's no reason why it shouldn't go on for ever...33rd draft... 56th draft...97th draft............

  4. I've never enjoyed redrafting. Although I do some tweaking, it's hard to dignify with a term like "redraft".

    My stories tend to come out right first time or not at all - although I get the feeling my WIP is going to need some major surgery on completion...