Thursday, 14 May 2015

Beyond Exploratory Drafts

So it has been a while since I last updated this blog, but I've been working hard on a first draft after finishing an 'exploratory draft'. I posted about such a thing here, and mentioned I would post an update once I got through it. And I can say that...

It was a great experience for me! I drafted about 65k, and discovered the bare bones of the story I really wanted to tell. Because it was just exploratory, meaning it was about uncovering the Right Story, I didn't feel under any pressure to make it read even like first draft quality (lol). And, I didn't feel like I had to revise the exploratory draft, either. I've kept a couple of turning points, but let a lot of the real drivel go and just rewrote the manuscript. It was such a freeing experience, and it's how I intend to write from now on.

I've actually decided to adopt characters from the 2014 NaNo manuscript I'm rewriting and make this their new story. The problems with the old manuscript aren't going anywhere (the story just isn't original enough, if I'm honest) but the characters and their internal arcs deserve to be explored in a more marketable manuscript. My MC, her love interest and primary antagonist fit PERFECTLY into this new world, and even secondary characters shine now. For the first time, I love each and every one of my characters!

If I've learned anything from this latest manuscript and my new way of approaching drafting, it's to never be afraid of making big changes and rewriting. See it as a freeing experience as opposed to more work, and you'll find the best way to tell whatever story you have inside of you.

Now all I have to do is whip this synopsis, query, pitch and manuscript into query-level shape ;)

My next post will be on beat sheets, and how they make writing a synopsis so much easier! :)

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