I've been working on a new novel since last October and I am now deep into the second draft. As much as I love throwing down a first draft, it's exhausting and soul draining and often hard to sit down and actually do.

Rewriting, however, feels a lot easier to me. I tend to whittle instead of add and usually cut 10 pages for every 100. I find lots of dialogue is unnecessary and the front halves of many conversations are actually me, the writer, hemming and hawing until I figure out what the conversation is actually about and where it's taking the narrative. When I'm editing, I usually have no trouble sitting down to do it as long as I keep myself pepped up with Coke Zero and remind myself that it's ok that the rough draft sucked because now I can make it awesome with the wisdom of hindsight.

Besides catching all the regular editing mistakes, omissions, and stuff like that, now knowing exactly where your story is going is the major power of drafting, granting you God-like vision of your tale when before, perhaps, you were half-sure of maybe where you thought somehow the story might possibly go maybe. The rough draft is the true outline of any novel-now you can hone your story to a keen edge through additional revisions, until the tale is so sharp touching it any more will only end up with you cutting yourself and bleeding necessary lifeblood all over the page.

And then you know the novel is ready for a second set of eyes and should push thyself away from the desk.


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