First Drafts

I finished the first draft of Dream Paris on Wednesday (at 14:40pm precisely. I know that, because I texted my wife to let her know.)

I think of first drafts as being partially inflated, like a half pumped up a bouncy castle or an air bed: you can see the rough outline of the finished article but it’s bent out of shape, it’s still full of creases.

Today I started on my favourite part of the creative process, the second draft. Now I know that the story works, now that I am sure of the shape of the piece I can go through and put in the detail. I can take my time, I can enjoy the scenery, I can really get to know the novel.

I remember once hearing John Cleese talking about writing Fawlty Towers. He said how he and Connie Booth would spend ages plotting the scenes. It was only at the end they put in the jokes.

I started that this afternoon. Not putting in jokes, but beginning to make the book more like I want it to. This isn’t the end of the process. There are quite a few drafts before that comes about, but, for me, this is the best part.

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