>Yay – I’ve just delivered the second draft MS for the fantasy novel I’ve been ghost-writing for the past few months. Don’t bother asking me what it’s about or who it’s for – what kind of ghost would I blabbed about stuff like that?
What struck me about this particular edit was how close I was able to get to the words. “What’s he talking about?” I hear you ask. “He’s a writer, isn’t he? It’s all words, isn’t it?”
Well, yes. But on this occasion the structure and pacing of the novel were pretty much there after the first draft. That left me free on the second draft to roll up my sleeves, get right into the text and massage it to get the most out of every scene, without worrying too much about how those scenes fitted together. Good prose is all about finding exactly the right word, every step along the way. So that’s what I’ve been doing.
Mind you, with around 80,000 words to consider, chances are I haven’t nailed them all. As a famous writer once said (and most writers I know agree), you set out on every project wanting to write the best thing you ever wrote … and end up just wanting to get the damn thing finished.
And finished it is, which leaves me free to tinker with a personal project before the outline for the third and final book of this ghostly trilogy arrives in my inbox. Who knows, maybe that one will be the best thing I ever wrote. When the damn thing’s finished, I’ll let you know.