Redrafting Your Novel – First Redraft

Nov 19, 2015 by

Redrafting Your Novel – First Redraft

Redrafting Your Novel – First Redraft

These are not hard and fast rules; such things rarely exist, and if they do, they would not be easily portable from person to person. Here are a few things I tend to do on the first redraft, either knowingly or subconsciously.

When do I start redrafting?

I start when I feel happy to. This could be anything from immediately, to several months later. Redrafting is a difficult process to muster enthusiasm for. After all, you’ve already written the story once, so rushing into it could do more harm than good.

So, the moment you feel happy to revisit the novel, revisit it.

How do I start redrafting?

Start to end, that’s pretty much how I do it. There are some novels that I’ve broken down into sections, and these I’ve been known to work at individually. You could argue that these are smaller novellas that I’ve brought together into a larger volume.

What do I start redrafting?

In this initial redraft, I’m looking at all the stuff that is no longer applicable. There’s usually a lot, a hell of a lot. At the beginning of a novel, my creative brain goes off in many directions, and a lot of these directions are lost along the way, or never become as important a part of the story as I first thought. This is where you change them. Ideally, your correcting the errors, without worrying too much on creating a lyrical masterpiece.

There are other parts of the story that aren’t errors, but are just no longer needed. If they are longer passages, I tend to cut and paste them into an ‘Offcuts’ document which I can refer back to if I need to.

I will also make note of any additional passages that I think are missing. Sometimes I write these as I go, and other times I just put a little note into the place that needs to be expanded.

In Summary

Redraft when you’re happy to. Don’t rush, but it’s probably not best to leave it for years, either. If it helps, write something else before tackling the redraft, to cleanse your writing pallet.

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