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First-draft Crossroads

crossroadsThe novel I’m currently writing entwines three storylines told from three points of view. Seven weeks after I typed the first word of the first scene, I’ve completed a draft of the first POV. And now I’m in a conundrum as to where to go from here.

My first option is to return to POV 1 and fill in the blanks. For believe me, this is a rough draft. I’ve got the bones of the story, but for the most part left out the meat. If a scene wasn’t moving me at the time, rather than getting bogged down I typed a highlighted “XX” and moved on.

So would now be the time to work on those Xs?

Pros:

  • The characters are well engraved in my head. I know where they’re coming from and what they want and who they are.
  • I have a good idea of what’s missing, so know where to start picking up loose threads.

Cons:

  • I very much want to have the entire first draft—all three POVs—completed before I start the bulk of my master’s degree in September. Taking time now to work on second drafts will slow the process down.
  • The other two POVs are dancing in my head; will the ideas dissipate if I don’t let them out?

OR I can leave the Xs and dive into the other two POVs.

Pros:

  • I can get all the swarming ideas onto paper, which will free up brain cells to attack the missing parts later.
  • I have a solid chance of getting an entire first draft completed—and more—by the time school starts.
  • When I start draft two, I’ll have the benefit of space and will be able to see draft one with fresh eyes.
  • Unplanned changes in the next two POVs may affect POV 1, so it may be better not to be too far along.

Cons:

  • When it comes time for draft two, I’ll have to re-immerse myself in the already-completed POVs and remind myself where they stand.

I guess the pros speak for themselves and the answer is (drumroll): I should keep trucking ahead to complete an entire first draft. Thanks for helping me figure this out!

Have you hit a similar crossroads? How did you handle it?

Read previous posts.

About the Author

Posted by Galadriel

Hi, I’m Galadriel: blogger, author, reader and resident of a quaint small town in the breathtaking West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

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