WRITING IS REWRITING! – SECOND DRAFT RETREAT :)

View from Springbrook retreat

Every writer knows the first draft is only a small part of the work involved in bringing a story to publishable standard. As Ernest Hemingway once famously said, “All first drafts are crap!” (I may be paraphrasing a little :)).

So how do we take a crappy first draft to something publishers are going to fight over? Rewriting! Or if we’re lucky just redrafting – though let’s face it if you’re a pantster like I was, you may have to write whole new sections. Twice I’ve cut back first drafts of 100 000+ words to 30 000 then rewrote the rest!

Ernest Hemingway – redrafting?

How do you self-edit?

The first step of any rewrite is the structural edit.

This looks at how the main elements of our story are working: characters, setting, voice, genre-expectations and plot. Mainly plot! 

The best place to start is with a scene list – not just chapter headings but a list of every scene within every chapter. Include which characters are involved, where it’s set, what’s happening (clue – if nothing’s happening – cut now!) and the main focus of the scene, plus whether the scene is moving us towards Hope or Fear. Go through the whole manuscript and you’ll come up with a list of potentially hundreds of scenes.

Photo by picjumbo.com on Pexels.com

Once you have this list it’s much easier to see any repetition, or worst of all, completely unnecessary scenes that are neither developing or illustrating character or moving the plot forward. This is when we press DELETE. Or, for chickens like me, this is when we cut these scenes and paste them into another document called “Good bits I may use later.” I have a few of these documents now for various projects and mostly they remain unused, but occasionally I’ll go back in and pull out a section that has become relevant again.

Your scene list will show you where your story starts to sink in the middle or if a character who was pivotal in the first half fades away in the second. You’ll be able to tell if a character is suddenly acting completely differently to who they were earlier, of if they have taken up too much page space – this often happens when we just go with the flow and let bossy or forceful characters have their way. 

Oh yes, those bossy characters may kick up a stink.

A scene list makes it easier to find any plot holes or if you’re building enough suspense or just having characters repeat themselves over and over without growth or change.

What tricks do you have up your sleeve to help you tackle the dreaded, but actually fun, second draft?

Have you got a project nearing the stage when it needs a proper evaluation and an objective rethink?

Writers hard at work on their redrafts at the last Second Draft retreat!

If so, come along and join us at Springbrook in the rainforest covered mountains behind the Gold Coast in Queensland for a cosy winter SECOND DRAFT RETREAT – AUGUST 12 – 14.

Come and join the fun!

This special retreat, for women and non-binary writers with a project needing attention, has workshops to help you tackle the second draft, focusing on finding the heart of your story, distilling the themes, the structural edit, and plenty of tips to help with line editing and pitch documents too.

All in a stunning location with cosy single rooms with desks, beauty and peace, like-minded folk to share your story with in feedback groups, fantastic food and lots of fun. 

For only $440 if you book before June 30 2022. See more information about the retreat and other retreats coming up HERE.

Or drop me a line for more information.

The second draft needn’t be a scary or lonely experience. Come along on retreat, connect with other writers, and get a head start on the next stage of your project.

What tips do you have for tackling the second draft (or third fourth or hundredth for that matter!).

Hope you can make it to retreat – we always have a wonderful time 🙂

More lovely retreaters 🙂

Lots of love,

Edwina xx

RELAX AND WRITE IN THE MOUNTAINS 2021

RELAX AND WRITE RETREATS are thrilled to announce a special introductory and memoir writing retreat at Camp Koojarewon in Highfields north of Toowoomba.

Is your creative spirit crying out for a little TLC? Always wanted to write but don’t know where to start? Need to reboot your writing mojo and be inspired to tackle that project you’ve been thinking about forever? Come along and regain your love of writing and life at the next Relax and Write Retreat among the beautiful big trees.

From 3pm FRIDAY 22 October – 2 pm 24 October 2021

Join like-minded women in a fun and supportive environment discovering just how much some deep relaxation can ignite your imagination and get you writing again. Relax and unwind with gentle morning yoga sessions and get writing with innovative workshops designed to help move those stories out of your head and onto the page. 

“I feel transformed, as a writer and as a human being.”

Bianca Millroy – writer and retreater

The program includes two yoga sessions, four inspiring writing workshops covering the basics of Life Writing and Memoir, plus advice on editing and submitting your work. Two nights basic dorm accommodation plus delicious vegetarian meals, morning and afternoon teas and a special exotic dance night are included. I’m so excited that our wonderful exotic dance instructor and performer Jacqui will be joining us again for this retreat!

We had so much fun dressing up and being glamorous!

“The fully-catered retreat environment was comfortable and stress-free. Edwina and her team create an atmosphere that encourages, motivates and inspires.”

Gay Liddington – writer and retreater

Connect with other creative women in a beautiful, peaceful location, be inspired by practical, informative workshops, stretch and relax with yoga and release your inner-goddess dancing. No more putting your dreams on hold. Treat yourself to this special weekend nurturing your writing spirit. You deserve it!

ONLY $380 all inclusive if you pay your deposit by the end of this month!

The whole weekend of writing, fun and feasting, including accommodation, all meals, 2 yoga sessions, 4 informative and inspiring creative writing workshops and a dance night. Transport not included.

 $420 all inclusive if you miss the cut off date.

Pay $200 deposit at RELAX AND WRITE RETREATS before 31 August 2021 for EARLY BIRD $380

For more information or to get a flyer with all the details, just DROP ME A LINE!

Accomodation is basic dorm style but with lots of room to spread out and create a space of your own. Beautiful peaceful surroundings and lots of writing spots. It’s not posh, but neither are we. The workshops and company however, are first class!

Massages with Jani and individual editorial feedback sessions with Edwina are also available.

Break free of the blues! Come along and join the fun – get those stories out of your head and onto the page. We always have a wonderful time!!

With lots of love,

Edwina xx