Day 20 – Finished the First Draft of Decayed

The first draft of Decayed (The Hunger #5) is finally finished. It took me way too long to wrap this sucker up, but it feels great to get the meat of the project done.

I figured I’d lay out my process for writing the second draft here, in case anyone is interested.

My first draft is always very close to the finished novel. I don’t make a lot of structural changes after I wrap up the first pass. Because of that, my second drafts take anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. Usually they’re on the shorter side of that time frame.

While writing the first draft, which I do in Word (sorry Scrivener fans), I keep a second document open where I make note of any mistakes I need to fix during my second pass on the manuscript. Examples of fixes would be giving a character a weapon earlier in a scene or maybe I had six people in a house, but forgot to write about one of them for several chapters. I make a note to correct those later.

When I start the second draft, I read through the entire thing, fixing sentence structure, removing adverbs, punching up description, and adding in missing words. I don’t know what in the hell is wrong with my brain, but I leave words out of sentences all the time. During this process, I check the second document I have and correct the previous mistakes along the way.

I don’t do a third draft.

From there, I have The Tall One give it a read and point out the 10k missing words in it, which I fix.

Then it goes to the editor. More on that later.

So that’s my drafting process. It’s minimal at best. I like the story to be what I come up with during the initial creation process and I leave it at that. Changing things later on is something I don’t particularly care for. I know a lot of authors who do extensive rewrites and edits, and if that works for them, more power to them. But I hate it.

I’d rather spend that time on the next book.

My initial instincts regarding the story are usually the better ones. When I start tinkering, I end up making this worse.

Tomorrow, I start the laborious process of reading this sucker. But for now, I have to watch The Perfection on Netflix for this week’s Final Guy’s episode.

Today, I wrote 1433 words in Decayed (The Hunger #5), bringing the total to 84885 (somewhere north of 300 pages.