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  • Scott Daniel

Second Draft Blues

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

I finished writing the first draft of Justice for Max in August. Since then, the manuscript has gone to a developmental editor and then back to me for rewriting.


I found the editor on Reedsy. She did a good job of finding the manuscript’s flaws and suggesting potential fixes. I waited awhile after reading her feedback before starting the second draft.


If you’ve written a novel while working a day job, you get it. I was just mentally drained and needed a break. I think it was the right move.


To be honest, it took me awhile to accept that the manuscript needed major reworking. I spent more than eight months writing and editing on the first go around. But I’ve cleared that mental hurdle and am about a quarter of the way on the second draft.


For me, it’s harder than writing the first draft. I ditched a major subplot, roughly 20,000 words out of a 85,000 word manuscript. The chapters I’ve removed are sprinkled throughout the manuscript, so I feel a bit like a surgeon grafting scenes together.


I think the end result will be a better story. Cutting out the subplot, which really wasn’t essential to the overall story, will allow me to spend more time with the main character and create a straighter path to the conclusion.


My plan, after completing the second draft, is to get it copy edited and then query literary agents for representation. So, I’m going after the traditional publishing route.

Odds are against me, I know. Even great novelists have had their early efforts rejected. I don’t suspect I’ll be different. But that’s okay.


I will take what I learn from Max and apply it to novel No. 2. It will feature the same main character and I do have an idea for the plot, which I’m starting to do research for.

Anyway,I hope you all are well. Yeah, 2021 is almost here.

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