"He Reads Her Mind like a Book" from The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger
I finally finished the second draft of my new novel yesterday evening. For me, this is always more of a sense of accomplishment than the first draft because there is the feeling of having a full-fledged story in your hands, more or less. With the first draft, I know there's still a pile of work ahead, so it's hard to get too excited. I need to read through the manuscript today, searching for mistakes, clunky sentences and repetition...but other than that, it will finally be ready for someone other than myself to read.
This was definitely the most extensive second draft I've done in a while for several reasons. The story's complexity, the careful unfolding I wanted in the narrative structure, and my own determination to push myself all contributed to the following:
* 140 pages of new writing in the 2nd draft (50 pages of the original cut)
* A complete personality change for one of the supporting characters
* The addition of 4 new supporting characters
* New opening.
* New ending.
If it sounds like a lot of work, it was...but the results have been worth it. Unlike a few months ago, I now have the feeling of having written the book I set out to write. (We'll see how I feel in the morning after reading it through).
It's a strange feeling to be so caught up in a character and their story for months and have it end. At least until I get my editor's comments.