Second Drafts: Seeing the Big Picture!

Second Drafts

Writing isn’t easy.

It is a lot of man hours and time spent learning, studying, daydreaming, and working.dreaming

It isn’t for the faint of heart.

At points I think my head will explode. At points I’m pretty sure it does, but oh how I love it! To see a story as a puddle of gooey words, then to growing its own legs is exciting.

This week, I’m reading through my WIP (work in progress) of, I AM ABLE. The story has marinated in my brain for a couple of months. I’ve lifted the lid and taken a good whiff, and he’s ready to be given the once over of a second draft.stir the pot.gif

So, what does my second draft look like?

I read over the story start to finish. I don’t worry with line edits at this point I’m only looking at big picture ideas. Also, I don’t actually change anything, but I do make lots and lots of notes. (I mean lots!)

Here is what I’m looking for:

  • Do I have themes that emerge, some of which I’ve planned, some of which I haven’t? I liken it to a treasure hunt. Themes are always there, whether intentional or not. (Score! I’ve got some good ones. I’ll want to go back and reinforce those!)


  • Plot holes – Oh yeah, they are there. They always are.alice-looking-down-rabbit-hole
  • Foreshadowing –Foreshadowing becomes a tightrope walk. Not enough and the story can fall to its doom and too much, then the reader will become bored.


  • Can I delete any characters? Can I combine any characters? Are they interesting enough to want to read about? In another now completed book, I had one character that I waffled on. I liked him, but I was afraid he could be merged with another to round her out. But, dang, I didn’t want to lose him, he liked to quote Batman. Ultimately, I filled him out, giving him much more of a personality. It worked and yay for him!!


  • Second Drafts Seeing the BIG Picture.pngIs my timeline consistent? (Warning, I can get a little crazy with this one, and could write a whole post on this. For now, I will just say, that I make notes and graphs, working it all into my story/plot board.)



  • How is the pacing? The arc? Is my story happening too quickly or is it slow?  (I can already see where I need to add more chapters. Which always makes me as happy as a cat with a bowl of kibbles. I might be using this example because I forgot to buy cat food, and I’m paying for it today. Every step I take a whiskered face meows at me.)


  • Lastly, I begin to keep an eye out for words that I’ve overused. Once when I was editing, I’d overdone the word hand so much that it became hilarious. It went something like this: She held his hand with her hand and they walked hand in hand. I might be exaggerating, but you get the picture.


post-it-notes legal padTomorrow—I’ll be making a story/plot board, so I can systematically plan out how to fix it all!


So tell me, what you look for in your second draft?



Verse this week:

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

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