Short Story: From First Draft to Final Product by Michael MiltonSHORT STORY is not a typical how to guide. I spent time looking for a book which would show me how a raw story was developed through drafts, with comments received and the changes made. Struggling to find such a work, I decided to create my own, being transparent and honest in the details.
Using the story that gained me an offer of a place on a Masters in Creative Writing, SHORT STORY will take you through three drafts of the work.
The book details not only the major revisions, feedback given by a professional novelist and an academic, but also has a bunch of tips from my writers toolbox condensed between the drafts.
I hope that the process provides something useful for you, be it a tip from the writing toolbox, a look at the editing process, or motivation in knowing that you can do better than I did!
The Difference Between a First and Second Draft
Nobody writes their final novel on the first pass. In fact, two of my favorite writing quotes refer to just that:. The first draft of anything is shit. The way I draft is an extension of the way I approach novel planning as a whole which you can read about here — which is to start with a simple concept and then add more and more detail until I have a fairly comprehensive outline. With drafting that means starting with a rough outline and slowly fleshing it out and adding detail, tweaking and weaving until it is finished, polished prose.
Focus on the Nonfiction Magazine Article Workshop. The first draft is where you put all the pieces in place, based on your outline. You write the anecdotes, flesh out the facts, condense your interview notes down to the best quotes, and tie all the pieces together. The main goal for the first draft is to get it all down on paper or on screen. The second draft is where you start performing the delicate surgery of revision this is not to be confused with the final draft.
Refrain from talking about your first draft or any particular section or sentence you recall fondly from it to any outsider…even your spouse. When they ask when that will be, you can say, probably after about five drafts. Then get out of the conversation. Not a title, not a concept, nothing. You are merely pulling together the ingredients to make something later on. So be quiet.
Previous posts:. Part 1: Story Concept. Part 2: Brainstorming. Part 3: Research. Part 4: Character Development. Part 5: Plotting. Part 6: Outline.
After you have written the first draft of your essay, you might think most of your work has been completed. You might take a break for several days and completely forget about your writing. Though this rest is necessary, do not rush into creating a final draft when you decide to come back to your essay. The writing process is more complicated than that, requiring a writer to make a second draft before making it final. You may want to finish this process as soon as possible, but the truth is when your head is full, you can hardly think of anything worthwhile. Choose only the most significant arguments.
Naturally, the first stage in revisions is. Note: This is the stage where I start using Scrivener, an organizational software program for writers. I started using Scrivener with Cress, and I love it. It really plays to my neurotic sense of organization more on that later. So for me, the first step of writing the second draft of a book is to transfer the text of the first draft into Scrivener.