Third Draft Drama

Some whisky to get the brain box juiced up and working!

I love writing. I love every aspect of it. From storytelling, to characters, to crafting the perfect sentence. There is nothing better, nothing quite as wondrous, than reading a piece of your own work and being well and truly satisfied with it.

That’s the aim.

That’s the goal.

Of course to get there you have to deal with many, many drafts first. Some of which you will read and think to yourself; did I seriously fucking write that?

Yes you did. You had to! Because the perfectly crafted sentences and perfectly crafted characters don’t arrive perfect. They have to be imperfect and crap first. That’s just the truth of it.

I am currently in the process of writing the third draft of my current WIP, and with every draft my WIP slowly forms the shape of the novel so furiously emblazoned in my head. I am so, so close. And yet so annoyingly far away.

Everyone has their own unique process, and I have typically heard it said that each draft should be shorter than the last. However, this is not the case with me.

My second draft, in all its crumpled beauty….

My first draft is always a short, hot mess. Because it’s simply me telling myself the story. It’s just the bones of it, I can flesh it out later. I often call it the Zero Draft. Because it’s highly unlikely any of those chapters or paragraphs will make it into the next rendition.

The second draft is where I rewrite and expand the world, add details, sort out plot holes and decide on a structure for the novel.

The third draft is my second draft on steroids. It’s more rewriting, more fine-tuning of the details. Here is where I’m making sure that the timelines make sense, that the characters are consistent and that the plot is airtight. It’s where I get really honest with myself about what needs to go and what needs to be changed/added. I expect to add a few words here. Because at the end of the third draft, that’s it, it’s time to get brutal.

I’m currently on my third draft, and there’s still a ton of re-writing to be done. But this, for me, is where I need to get it done. Because the next draft will, (hopefully), be my final one. And that’s where I start cutting things out like a hairdresser with a new pair of scissors y’allll.

It’s exciting though, to be this close to finished. To be so close to holding the finished product in your hand, a novel fully formed FROM YOUR FRICKIN’ MIND, a brain-child if you will. And that’s why it’s also stressful, because you so desperately want to write it well, to have it be exactly how you envision it.

It’s enormous pressure.

But it sure is worth it, don’t ya think?

Best wishes,

Rachel Writes.


  1. As a habitual over-writer, this is exactly the opposite of my process, but it really sounds like it works for you! Do you find that you get your plot elements pretty close to right in the zero draft, or do you do a good deal of rearranging in the second draft?

    Also, I adore that title, and I am instantly intrigued by it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a good deal of rearranging in my second draft! I tend to write out a rough plot guideline to follow after I finish the first draft, once I sort of know where the problem areas lie. That way when I’m re-writing in the second draft I know more definitely where I want the story to go.

      Out of curiosity, what’s your process? I always find it interesting the many different ways to go about writing a novel! xx


      1. There are SO MANY ways to write a novel, and I, too, enjoy hearing about them. 🙂 I always feel like ‘maybe there’s a smarter way to go about this,’ lol.

        I’ve learned that I do well with a lot of research up front, because otherwise I’m invariably wrong about something or distracting myself mid-process with 3 months of research. So when I have a concept (setting, character, whatever), I spend a few weeks reading non-fiction on relevant topics and making a draft outline (I am otherwise horribly distracted, and the story IS a story, but not the one I wanted). I write that draft out, see what I hate about it and what I want to keep, and reoutline until I’m happy with what I have and try for draft 2. Rinse, repeat, and if I get stymied, it’s more research. Usually by the time the third draft’s finished I have the shape I want, and it’s a matter of cleaning up the writing into a tone I like.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah research is my all time procrastination point! But I think I’m similar to you in the sense that I try to do as much of it as I can before I start writing 🙂

        That sounds like a good way of going about it 🙂 there’s so many interesting cool ways out there but ultimately it’s what suits your style that counts! xx

        Liked by 1 person

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