Polish A Third (Draft)


Draft Three has finally been put to bed. It was a bit of a slog to get through to be honest. Life has a wonderful habit of getting insanely busy at the times you could use for writing. Plus I had some interesting fun during the month with migraines and night terrors, basically writing off two days due to being tired.

But sure what can you do.

Having gone over the notes I managed to get through most of the changes that I felt the draft needed from its previous incarnation. As I work through each one I am keeping copies though, as I said before, to see just how much the story changes between each draft. Right now draft one has a completely different ending to draft three. Not so much that we are talking two completely different books, but it isn't hard to see how some writers go a bit loopy during the editing process.

I once read that Philip K. Dick was super paranoid that "The Man" was out to get him. Now, given his body of work, it wouldn't be hard to say he had to be the crazy side of genius to come up with his stories. But I can't imagine how he went through drafts, changing the plots along the way, of stories that are crazy, not to mention entertaining, to begin with.

Lesson learned, all the drafts are now safely backed up in my Dropbox. The notes for draft four are only four lines. This tortoise is racing along to the finish line at a gentle pace. All I need to do is make sure it's ready by the end of June and it's sorted for the Dublin Comic Convention.

Course I've two weddings in between now and then, but sure what could possibly go wrong...


Draft 2 - That Was Long


That was a long rewrite if I do say so myself. I mean seriously. I don't remember a rewrite taking me so long before.

I finished draft one of the third Filthy Henry novel in January. It has taken me until March 19th to get draft two finished and put to bed. There are, of course, a number of factors that contributed to this delay.

First of all I have started sleeping a bit on the bus. I guess that was bound to happen eventually once Nugget arrived. I just was expecting how tired you get while enjoying all the fun stuff of being a parent. Not that I'm complaining, but I am fairly sure that some patrons of the bus I get home have burst eardrums given I am (according to the ladyfriend) a bit of a snorer.

Secondly I had a few pages of notes for draft two. Whole sections to take out, names to be changed, jokes to be inserted. You know, the creative sort of stuff. It meant that I was doing a lot more 'new' writing than just fixing up the existing stuff. But sure that is all in the game really when it comes to writing. What was brilliant, to the author at least, at the start of a book can be chopped and dropped by the time the final draft arrives.

Thirdly I get easily distracted by other things. But ah well, having finished the game I was currently playing (at least the main story) the other night I can at least avoid my Xbox for a few weeks to help speed up draft three ;)

Thankfully draft three only has a quarter the amount of notes for changes. I'm not entirely sure how that happened, since usually the second draft is the big changer. But as I worked through draft two I had some more ideas, little plot bits that I would like to change, that sort of thing. Not the worst thing in the world I suppose.

So long as I get it done by the end of June I'm golden for comic con.

Sure what could possibly go wrong.


First Draft, Again


I've been off the blogging grid for a bit lately. Mainly because when I get stuck into writing a new story I find that I don't have the mental juices to blog as well. But now that I've finished the first draft of my third book I figured it was time for a little post.

I always find the first draft to be an interesting thing to exist. Technically this is the book completed. The plot is done, the characters have said their lines and everything is finished. Then you start on draft two. Three, four, five, etc. All the follow up drafts of the book.

The drafts after the first one are usually used to fine tune things. Tweak the plot, patch up some loose threads, fix spelling mistakes (as best I can, one or two always slip through). For the previous two books the differences between the first and final drafts were pretty huge.

Which makes the first draft so interesting. It is the book, but almost just the genesis of it. The idea of what the finished product will be. As I was working through the draft I had my notebook (a very snazzy gift from the lady friend) beside me. Notes were made about plot bits I wanted to change, new elements to add in, maybe even characters doing something completely different. By the time I had finished the draft there were roughly four pages of notes in my pad.

Four pages of notes that are going to be worked into draft two. Four pages that could get more notes created as the story is revisited through the rest of the drafts.

At least comic con isn't until August. I mean I can write all those new drafts before then. Right?