Well, my Young Adult novel is almost fully done the second draft. Almost. I’m still filling in the scenes that were missing from my first draft, but it’s going very well. I’ve been reading through the book as I go to make sure I don’t forget any scenes, and have found a way to leave myself notes that I can easily find again.
During the writing of my first draft I found it very helpful to write the beginning, very middle, and end, then go back and fill in the rest. By knowing the endgame, I knew what to work towards. Even now, as I fill in scenes, I know where I’m going.
Here’s the thing - by going back and now filling in the missing scenes, I know what I need to include, but sometimes it also includes surprises that I end up adding to an already roughed out scene that makes it better. Working back helped me get to where I am, but working forward will be what finishes my book.
I love how the details are really falling into place now that the story framework is shaped. This is when I add the small moments that turn out to be useful or game changing for them in the end. She’s learning this skill or acquiring this item, and...oh look! There it saves her backside.
Sometimes it’s more about what she doesn’t know or do that comes back to bite her in the butt. Nobody is perfect, and a growing girl who’s trying to learn who she is has her share of mistakes in the process. The third draft is where I look at that kind of detail, as well as language usage. Then there’s the rest of the drafts.
Still, I’d rather put out a quality story for people that I loved to write than a rushed manuscript with errors. I have a secret superpower in my pocket - an analytical engineer who will find every inconsistency in the story. He’ll get to see it once the full story is complete, but before the final drafts.
Working out of order works well for me in the early and early-middle stages, but the point comes where you have to actually read the book. That’s where you find the time skips and holes in the narrative. There’s many ways to deal with them, but you won’t know they’re there unless you read from start to finish.
Read, plot, plan, enjoy...just go write!
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.