Monday, September 10, 2007

Second Draft Suckiness

For me, there are many ways writing a second draft is painful:

* I know how it ends. This is huge because one of the reasons I push toward writing The End in the first draft is so I can figure out who did it and why. Now I know and I've got that contented cat feeling. I don't want to look at the story anymore, I just want to stretch out in a sunbeam.

* I'm reading it in the wrong room. As I read the first draft I become convinced it all needs to be recycled into toilet paper. It's awful. I thought I was making magic but it all reads like doodoo.

* What was I thinking? I need to get more details in order to finish writing a scene about either blood/tissue/decomp/police procedure etc and now need to do hours of research.

* Scene transitions. Yes, I realize it's not fun to read a book where the characters drop from one scene to the other without any transitioning but blech, blech, blech!

* That next book. Every time I'm in second draft there's a voice whispering in my head saying, "C'mon ... you know you really want to drop this sucky story and move on to the one about the two-headed dragon that takes over the planet." Just about any story sounds better at this point.

If you're a writer, do you get the second draft blues? If you're a reader, have you read any books lately that could've used at least one more draft?


B.E. Sanderson said...

I'm working on a second draft right now, and I'm loving the whole 'make it better' thing, but I can see from previous books what you're saying. I've been through the whole 'what was I thinking' thing. (In fact, I know I wrote that exact phrase in the margins in several places.)

I just read a book that could have used several more drafts. I didn't make it past page 75, and I only got that far because the premise was interesting and I kept hoping they'd get to the point. I'm still sitting here dumbfounded that the book got published.

Anissa said...

The second draft isn't too bad for me. It's when I get into even later ones that I start to bash my head on the keyboard screaming, "I'm such a hack!" ;)

In other words, I feel your pain.