Preptober: Preparing for a 1st vs 2nd draft
Today is my second to last Preptober blog post! But do not fret, I will be posting weekly blog updates on my NaNoWriMo progress!
Today’s topic is preparing and heading into a first versus the second draft in terms of NaNoWriMo.
Disclaimer; this is from my perspective and my experiences only… so take what I say with a grain of salt and remember that everyone’s processes are different!
So, let’s get into it!
Last year, if you have kept up with my blog you would know, that I wrote a very, very rough first draft of a fantasy novel. Since that was the first novel I had written in years, the first I truly count as a young adult, I went into it panster style!
I’ll just say it, my organized chaos brain could not handle it! I am indeed an outlining mind!
That being said, I do appreciate where the panster mindset put me with this story. I do believe that this method in terms of NaNoWriMo was a great option.
It was definitely a discovery draft.
I have written another first draft since then and completely outlined it and that was great! However, going into a first draft to write in thirty days rather than six months, just writing from a stream of consciousness got me to a successful 74,000-word manuscript with three days to spare.
A word-vomit-discovery-skeleton-draft let me remind you.
Fast forward to this year! Draft two!
Going into Preptober, I knew from the start that I wanted to re-outline. Or more so, outline. As I did not even have an outline from draft one. The draft itself was an outline. Draft one, in simple terms, told the story. It showed nothing.
And that is ok!
I reread the story for the first time in almost a year and here was my reaction:
“This is absolute s***, but hey! The concept has potential.”
So I took that very, very basic concept and expanded it. I have expanded into two notebooks to be exact. One is a brain dump journal, one is a very organized scene outline.
So, how did I come up with new ideas to add to the story?
I studied subplots. I revisited the three-act structure and why it both sucks and is successful. I watched every. single. Brandon Sanderson. BYU. lecture. I created a mood and vision board on Pinterest! I researched the places in my book and studied deeper into worldbuilding. I know, a controversial word, but it is essential.
In a sense, I did a lot. I am a full-time college student yet in the past month I think I have studied more on my own for the sake of the story than for my classes.
But do not worry, I am not flunking! Come ask me again in the middle of November.
But can you see the theme here?
The first draft… vomit. A skeleton from my stream of consciousness.
The second draft… outline. A vision. The meat to the bones. Go into it having done some weight training.
Plot. Subplots. Setting. Characters. The difference between plot and structure. Tension and stakes. I would love to share my notes on these hot topics that I have gathered from numerous credentialed authors and writers!
This was a very broad post, I know, but getting too specific is just, in my opinion, not good for the nature of any writer. I am here to share my surface level of experience. I do not want to share my in-depth process and make anyone feel like they should or should not be doing something their way. Everyone’s way is unique and works. This is just mine!
I am so excited about NaNo this year! I feel like I have grown as a writer so much since last year and cannot wait to see the outcome side-by-side of my two drafts. Remember that any progress is good progress and that you do not have to “win” NaNoWriMo to feel successful, proud, or accomplished!
I will be sharing my updated synopsis and logline at some point… so stay tuned!
Thanks for reading, I would love to hear from you! Message me!
See you next time!
Olivia Brooks | The Livi Chronicles