Tag Archives: draft 2

Draft 3 Completed!

My third draft of my Author Quest submission was a bit of a struggle.  As I mentioned last time, I was blocked during the writing process for a bit.  And even when I did manage to start writing again, I still had issues writing the new Gelfling scenes.  But all of that struggle was worth it, because the story has really shaped up in my third draft!

This draft was focussed on fixing up the story, particularly in making the major changes that my brother and I had talked about after he read it over.  I ended up changing over 3000 words, drastically rewriting several scenes in the process.  While this was rather tough at times, it was well worth it, as draft three has a stronger story than the previous drafts did.  I was a little bit worried over the weekend that I wasn’t going to be in the right word count range, but luckily the third draft came in at 7,699 words, just slightly shorter than draft 2.

I have already sent draft three out to a couple of friends who have expressed interest in reading it and giving me some feedback.  I have just two weeks left to submit this, so I’m hoping that they can get back to me before the weekend, giving me enough time to make any changes that I need to.  Hopefully there won’t be any major changes that I’ll need to make.

So wish me luck during these final two weeks as I work on polishing everything before submitting it on the 31st!

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Research for Draft 3

I spent a lot of this afternoon doing research for draft 3 of my Author Quest submission.  After thinking about it a bit, I’ve definitely decided to make the major changes my brother and I talked about the other day when he gave me feedback.  I want this story to be as strong as it can be, and I honestly think what he suggested will greatly help.

Unfortunately, the rewrite is going to be rather substantial.  I’m looking at changing about 3000 words right now, which is a little under half of my story.  I’m also going to be introducing a different setting which I will most likely have to make up; in draft 2, the entire story takes place within the Castle of the Crystal, but now I’ll need to go outside of the castle for a scene or two.  I did a lot of research looking into what Gelfling villages look like, but I had a really hard time finding anything.  The couple of pictures I did find come from the Dark Crystal graphic novels (both the Creation Myths series and the Legends of the Dark Crystal manga).  Nothing I found today is quite right for what I need, so it looks like I’ll be designing my own village for the story.  To that end, I’m planning on playing around with a sketch book tonight to hopefully get a better idea of what I need.

Luckily, I actually did start visualizing the area I need in draft 1 (it was the chunk I completely removed in draft 2).  So between that, the few pictures I did find, plus sketching, hopefully I’ll have something I can use in the next couple of days.

By the way, if anyone is interested in some reference pictures, I’ve put together a board on Pinterest.  The pictures on it are mainly Skeksis and locations because that’s what I’ve needed for my submission so far.  But if you’d like to see what I’ve used, feel free to check it out.  🙂

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Feedback Received For Draft 2

So I gave Draft 2 to a couple of people and got some excellent feedback on it, particularly from my brother.  He gave my submission a really thorough read over; today we sat down and talked about everything.  I was really glad that he picked up on the one problem chunk I mentioned last time (the part of the story that I’ve been thinking should go),  so we talked about that.  He gave me some great ideas for how I can go about fixing it.

Now I’m going to take some time to really figure out what I want to do.  I’m going to have to go back and look at the characters again (particularly the Gelfling) to decide where the story wants to go from here.  I don’t have a lot of time left (the contest closes in about 4 weeks), but I’m considering a major rewrite of some of the middle pieces.  I’m going to sleep on it though, and make a definite decision tomorrow before beginning draft 3.

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Draft 2 Completed!

This is about a day behind schedule, but I am finished the second draft of my Author Quest submission.  The second draft came in at 7,855 words, about 350 words longer than the finished first draft.  I’m really happy with that word count, as I was able to completely remove the chunk I wrote to finish off the first draft; that chunk was written in a writing sprint and wasn’t something I initially wanted to include, so I’m glad I could remove it without worrying about the word length.

I spent a lot of time in this draft fixing characters and dialogue.  I took a couple of days to work on some of my characters, particularly the Gelfling, in order to make sure their characters were consistent.  One in particular, named Keefe, seemed to be one thing and then went and did something that seemed very out of character, so I spent a lot of time smoothing that out.  I also had the Skeksis Emperor do something similar, so I worked really hard to fix that, too.

I also started working on the setting and descriptions.  The one place that I had a lot of trouble visualizing was the Skeksis laboratory.  So I sat down and sketched it out while watching Dark Crystal scenes on Youtube.  In the end, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on the layout.  I also made a real point of trying to fix up descriptions of people and places.  I’m sure what I’ve got now will still need some work, but I think it’s a good start.

I ran into a couple of snags while I was working on this draft.  The first one was when I started debating about whether or not to keep a chunk of my story.  I liked what had been written, but it’s possible the story would be better without it.  In the end, a friend advised me to keep it for now, as I can always fix it later if I need to.

The second snag was when I wrote about a character panicking.  That got me thinking about whether or not the creatures of Thra (Gelfling in particular) have hearts and lungs.  I spent most of an evening trying to research that, but couldn’t come to any conclusions one way or the other.  If anyone knows the answer to this question, I would appreciate it if you could let me know either here or on Twitter.  If no one replies (and I can’t find the answer on my own), I’m going to have to assume that they do for the purposes of my story.

So the contest is over on the 31st of December.  I have just under a month now to fix up my submission.  With that in mind, I’m planning on letting a few people read it so I can get some feedback to help with the edits.

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Beginning the Edits

After leaving my first draft alone for a couple of days, it’s time to start editing.  As my first step, I reread what I had written. As I had expected, there’s a lot wrong with it. The dialogue is rather clumsy. So is a lot of the description. There’s an awful lot of repetition. The setting needs a lot of work. So do many of the characters. And of course there’s that chunk I wrote to finish off the draft, which wasn’t gone over the way everything else was; that’s going to need a lot of work.

But in the middle of everything, I also found a lot of things that I liked. Once the story got going, for the most part it seemed to move along rather nicely. This was really thanks to the Skeksis, and one in particular. The scenes with him were just as much fun to read as they were to write. While I know that the rewrites are rather extensive, the scenes with him made me feel like I am on the right track.

So having reread what I’ve written, it’s time to start fixing everything up. My plan is to start with the characters, making sure they’re all solid before even attempting to rewrite their dialogue.

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