How to Write a Second Draft

I should like to preface this post by saying "this is how I wrote my second draft and I don't know if you should really follow these steps"

• Step 1: Planning
    Do some research, figure out (basically) your plot, and character progressions. Do a little more research. Set the stage. (realize later that you didn't do nearly enough preparation and have no idea what you are doing.)

•  Step 2: Do Nothing
    Procrastinate by reading things like "5 Tips for Writers" or "How to Discipline Yourself" or "How to Stop Procrastinating" or "How to Write a Second Draft" or write a about how you are the most procrastinatey of procrastinators. My favourite excuse is "I don't want to start right now, because I'm going to be interrupted really soon". This hinges on you pretending that 'once you start' you will get really into it.

• Step 3: Start writing stuff
    Sit down to your computer or notebook. Start writing. Realize that you hate everything in the previous draft and scrap it. Write very eagerly for a little while. Then realize that all that typing you were doing, was typing and backspacing and typing and backspacing, so you only have about 700 words. 

• Step 4: Plan some more
   Since you find yourself unable to write, decide that instead of doing 'nothing' you will plot it out in more detail, to help you. Repeat steps 2 and 3. Then repeat 1-4 about six times. Once you have done that, you are ready to proceed.

• Step 5: Actually write a bunch
   Hit yourself in the head. Block all distractions (so disconnect from the internet, basically); force yourself to stop sidetracking to do 'research', eat at least seven small meals in the course of an hour because for some reason you are really hungry and you like 'taking quick breaks' to make food. Get super into it and write like a mad thing. Make weird rules about stupid things: "every 700 words I can go down and get another cookie".  Talk people's ears off about strange realizations, chat about your characters, send little snippets to the people you send snippets to. Bombard them with little questions about 'should he do that first or this first?". Feel like an actual writer. Go about your day glowing because you wrote 2000 words that morning. 

• Step 6: Make the mistake of reading what you wrote
    Accidentally scroll to the wrong place. Innocently look for information earlier in your draft. Get distracted by reading through your stuff. Realize that you hate it. Despair of ever finishing. Realize that you will never be content. Go off and read other people's work and then mope over how good it is in comparison to yours. At this point you have two options. You can do what I did, and give up. Put the draft away, mark it as 'horrid and hated' and never ever ever look at it ever again. Go to one of your writer friends and complain (sorry, writer friend. You are wonderful.) Or you can just force yourself to finish it, like your writer friend tells you to. I didn't do that. I moved on to step 7.

• Step 7: Go on a two week vacation and re-invent your book
    Horrify your writer friends, who were so kind and patient and helped you through the terrors of steps 1-6, and devoted actual time to learning your plot and characters, by telling them that you changed everything. Why are they still your friends? I honestly don't know, but keep a tight hold on those people, they are fantastic. This just happened to work for me, but I don't know if I reccomend it. So now I am in third drafts. I'm written a grand total of 9000 words. And I am in the stage of "writing slowly, researching and procrastinating and feeling all the feelings of hatred for your own writing, and not really know what you are doing, but for once, if feels right". 

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