Now I’m revisiting the subject as I’ve worked on the second part – editing slowly.
Here are my findings:
- My self-imposed deadline for the first draft was March 1. Did I hit it? Yes.
- I’d hoped that the second draft would be done ‘in a few weeks’. Was it? Yes, pretty much. I sent it to my agent yesterday (4 April). My deadline to send the ms to my editor is 18 April so I’m on course.
- I expected my second draft to take more time than usual. I’m not sure that it did.
- My first draft contained more words than usual: over 103,000. This was a worry but, as it turned out, I cut 9,000 words during the second draft without breaking into a sweat. Some of these words would have been cut out under my old strategy of editing the previous writing session firmly before going on with the present session.
- Having completed the second draft I feel a bit sick of it. Pleased with some parts, convinced others don’t work AT ALL, and that I’ve got this relationship COMPLETELY WRONG and that relationship NOT AT ALL CREDIBLE. This is exactly how I always feel at this stage.
- I kept a greater number of notes and a more detailed timeline. I don’t feel the time was wasted. The second draft profited from it and I think it saved me time.
- Knowing that during the second draft I would have to cut a thread that didn’t work did prey on my mind a bit. In the past, I would have gone back as soon as I realised it needed doing and made what I’d written so far work before going forward. This is the part of the process I’m probably least secure about. Time will tell (or my editorial notes will tell) whether I’ve done an OK job or not.
At this point, I do believe that writing quickly and leaving more to the second draft has worked, so the ‘edit slowly’ part might have been unduly pessimistic. This bodes well for my tight publishing schedule.
Will I try the ‘write quickly’ technique again? Absolutely! I’m a convert.
(At least until I get those first editorial notes …)