First vs Second Drafts 4


Woohoo!  I finished the first draft of the novella I started last week. (I really think I need to concentrate more on novellas)  I really like the characters – they were so co-operative and let me crawl around inside their heads which makes writing them so much easier.

I have to go back through it now and do several things as I work on it as a second draft.  First off, as you saw on Friday’s post, I check my facts. A question I sent out yesterday? Could a truck equipped with a trailer hitch for a flatbed-style trailer (used for hauling landscaping equipment) be able to haul a horse trailer? I have never owned a vehicle with a trailer hitch, but I know there are two types (or more), the ball-type trailer hitch, and a square one that are used for towing mobile homes. I wasn’t sure which category a horse trailer fell into.

So I got that squared away – BlueSue to the rescue again. Poor Sue has been inundated with emails lately. I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate my “experts” and their patience with my probably stupid questions. But I know how much it bugs me when I read a story that has an error in it, so I try to make sure that I’ve written things correctly the first time. Doesn’t always happen–you have to know what you need to ask questions about, and sometimes the most obvious aren’t obvious. For instance, regional differences, just because something is done one way in my area, doesn’t mean it’s done the same way in another province/state/country.  Heck I remember being fascinated watching thunderstorms roll across the country when I visited Louisiana back in 2000. Their storms are completely different from the type we get up here.

The second thing I’ll be doing – and I do them concurrently — is layer the story. That’s where I go back and add in more emotion, more internal debate, etc. I get into the sensory part of what the character is experiencing. I change out the “telling” to “showing” …

So you can see the difference, I’ve included two examples.  Here’s how the story was originally written … a reminder, this is from the first draft, at this stage I’m more intent on moving the story forward and getting the elements in place.

“Yeah, my truck’s overheated.” Nikki reached for the latch to release the hood, trying to ignore the shivery feeling that went through her every time she set eyes on her neighbor.

“Whoa, don’t touch that – let it cool down a while longer, honey.” He caught her wrist and pulled her away.

She landed against him with an oomph, feeling every hard muscle pressed against her. Man, what she’d give to feel this while horizontal. Dream on, Nik.

“You call a tow truck yet?”

Here’s the second draft …

“Yeah, my truck’s overheated.” Nikki reached for the latch to release the hood, trying to ignore the shivery feeling that went through her every time she set eyes on the hunk of man walking toward her.

He caught her wrist and pulled her back from the still-steaming engine. “Whoa, don’t touch that yet. Let it cool down a while longer or I’ll be hauling you off to the burn unit.”

She landed against him with an oomph, aware of every hard inch of him. The long length of thigh muscle pressed against hers, his arms banded around her waist, the muscular chest mashing into her breasts. Man, what she’d give to be this close to him horizontal. Before she could stop herself, she filled her lungs with his scent, detecting only a hint of the aftershave he’d used that morning behind a heaping of good honest sweat. Mostly he smelled of machine oil, sawdust, and … what was that smell? She scrunched up her nose and took another sniff. “You been at a barbeque?”

Dillon chuckled, a dark delicious sound that reminded her of humid summer evenings eating barbequed ribs and drinking cool beer, of star-filled nights that promised long sessions of hot sweaty sex. “We’ve been cuttin’ down some mesquites out back of the old Pritchert place. New owners are plannin’ on putting in a pool.”

See the difference? Quite an improvement, isn’t it?  Though I’m happy with that second draft, I can guarantee there’ll be more changes made yet. So that’s the type of thing I’ll be doing for the next week or so. (Thanks to Cathy Clamp and eBookPusher on twitter for suggestions about the mesquite scent.)

Oh, and another task? I have to come up with a title for it. Those are always a challenge.


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