Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Second Chances & Second First Drafts

Years ago, the first book I attempted to write went though multiple drafts. Despite years of effort, the book never worked, and I never got a handle on the story that I wanted to tell. After a hundred and second chances, it was time to let go, and to move on to a more viable, workable story.

After a gracious, spot-on, and much-appreciated Developmental Edit, Book #1 of Series #1 wasn't in line for minor updates or revisions--the book needed a major overhaul. Instead of giving up, setting the book aside and working on another book idea, I set out on a journey to write another (the Second) First Draft.

How do you know and when do you know whether and if it's time to stop handing out chances?

For the earlier book, it was way past time to let go. After numerous attempts to do so, so many that I lost count, I had to admit to myself the book was not workable or salvageable. For the more current Book #1, Series #1, the First First Draft held the foundation of a strong book and a viable series concept. Book #1, Series #1 held not just the possibility, but the probability that the story and the book done right could work. Unsure that I was up to the task, I believed in the story and the series; therefore, I had to put forth the effort.

This Second First Draft tells the story I intended to to tell. It presents a tighter story with higher stakes than the previous draft. The current draft of Book #1 delivers, with a satisfying wrap-up, yet one that serves as a lead-in into Book #2.

After numerous second chances, there comes a time to let go and move on; yet, when a journey down Second Chance Avenue succeeds, with hard work and genuine forward effort, the trip is enjoyable, interesting, and worthwhile.

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