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A surge of progess! Or not

December 6, 2014

Over the last couple of days, I’ve come substantially closer to reaching the end of the second draft (read: rewrite) of my science fiction novel. And this is despite being particularly busy with my studies lately, as well as having a cold which refuses to go away.

Sounds impressive? It isn’t.

What I did was clean out my outline* of any unwritten scenes which seemed less than fully necessary: if it remained at all possible to tell the story without a given scene, then that scene went. Much of my outline was unaffected by this – a good sign, I reckon – but it did reduce by a great deal the number of needed scenes that aren’t at least started. And I barely wrote a word in the process.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Cheating? Possibly. It’s not like I’ve done any real work on the book in the last few days; rather, I’ve simply reduced the work I’ll now been doing. Plus, all of the removed scenes did serve a purpose of some sort, even it that purpose was simply fleshing out the setting a little more; in other words, I could well end up re-adding them in a later draft. So, really, I haven’t reduced the work at all.

What I did do, though, was bring myself that much closer to getting a complete framework finished. After that, I’ll be in a great position to start editing and refining the piece…after the obligatory time-out from it, of course.

Any writing/drafting stories to share? Feel free to do so down below 🙂

*Which I recall saying in an earlier post I’d now be leaving alone. Go figure.


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  1. Smashing! A stage that is very familiar to me, and a really good one. You have the shape and structure of the book so clear now in your mind that you can see what is needed and what was just scaffolding, and where to put the odd pieces left over. I predict the writing will now become a whole lot easier – bravo!

    • Well, I’m certainly hoping it does :). It’ll be easier once this cold finally goes too, I reckon.

      Really looking forward to reaching the end of this draft, now; it’s high time I start editing and refining, rather than simply writing new (and rough) content all the time.

  2. I resisted doing this with my first couple of drafts on Memories Stirred. I now wish I’d been braver and reassessed my outline at certain points in the process. I think the plot would have been tighter if I had. I got rid of scenes after I’d written them, something which is completely at odds with my ‘never throw anything away’ mentality, plus others I tweaked to make work as I didn’t have the energy to throw them away and re-outline. With the follow up I’m adding in time to my schedule for exactly this sort of thing. May not need it when I’m an all singing, all dancing writer, but with barely 20 mins a day at the moment, process is my lifeline.

    Good to hear progress is being made, even if it is psychological (all counts in my book) 🙂

  3. I’m living a re-drafting story, right now. I’d thought it would be a fairly simple matter of reshaping the work I’d already done, but I kept getting stuck in a way that told me there was something wrong with my approach. So I’m taking the whole thing down to studs, writing the story anew, from the top. It’s a leap outside my usual process, but so far, it’s been freeing; the words are coming far more easily, the tone I want is coming through, and I’m actually excited to continue work on it, which I /so/ wasn’t in the few days it took me to change up the plan. Here’s hoping the sailing continues on smoothly from here!

  4. Cheating? Nah. You may have just saved yourself from unnecessary work later on. That counts as progress – maybe not the kind you’d like to have, but it’s better to recognize and take care of it now instead of not. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Good point; it was indeed progress, and it actually felt incredibly good while I was doing it. It’ll be interesting to see how many of the removed scenes end up coming back in late drafts, though.

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