Second Draft of a Novel, Zoom Event and the Yaffle Prize

After several months I’m much better from suspected Covid and pneumonia. Many of you will know that experiences similar too mine are now being labelled long-haul. I still have ongoing issues but I was dealing with these before this latest illness struck.

The Lifelong Learning Centre has allowed me to take a lot of time in lieu to make up for some of the additional hours I have put in and my freelance work has been, let’s say, quiet.I’ve used this opportunity to all but finish a second draft of my novel. I have learned from writing two previous novels (now in the metaphorical drawer) that putting off creative decisions increases the number of drafts required and drags out the process. So I determined to make this a very thorough edit and, given my health, threw myself in slowly but wholeheartedly.

Image of pea plants in two pots with entangled pods.
These two pea plants start off in separate pots but entangle as they grow whilst retaining their roots. The protagonists in my novel do the same thing.

I thought some of you might be interested in my approach to Draft 2 or find some elements useful when you’re writing your own novels so I’ve described this below:

  1. Reasserted to myself what the novel wanted to say and how this was best pursued
  2. Read Draft One, noting down questions to resolve in the edit or elements that need adding/changing/omitting
  3. Made notes on more novels written in a similar tone/for a similar audience and more articles on ethics relevant to my manuscript and considered how to learn from these
  4. The book is told by two narrators so I edited each narrator’s thread in turn. This is easy to do using the Scrivener app which allows you to easily click between chapters and see an outline of the overall project
  5. Read through and noted down further elements to change
  6. Edited from start to finish

Still to do:
7. Replace non-dialect words with appropriate dialect words
8. Copy edit

Live Zoom Interview and Reading This Friday 17th July

I will be Hannah Stone’s invited guest at Nowt but Verse, The Leeds Library’s lunchtime interview with poetry slot this Friday. It is free to attend although you can donate to the library if you wish. Sign up here. We’d love to see you.

In other reading news, I have read and spoken at a couple of Zoom events over the last few weeks for Morley’s Runcible Spoon and Saudha. They will be holding more over the next few months. Runcible Spoon is also a webzine so do look out for more and/or submit.

Other news

Poetry writing and submissions have had to take a backseat while I worked on the second draft of novel so I was pleased that my poem The Chorus that Dawn was a Solitary Blackbird, written at the very start of lockdown, was longlisted for the Yaffle Prize Last year’s anthology was wonderful so I look forward to the publication of the book where all winning, commended and longlisted poems will be published.

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