Draft One Done–Next Steps

You guys know I’ve been working on my approach for a rhyming nonfiction book. Well, I just finished my first very ^%*^% draft of it. Yay! I have the information I want in there. And the couplets rhyme. And I think I like the contrast structure. In each couplet, the first line will show the topic at Point A, and the second line will show the topic at Point B. But that’s about all I can say for it at this stage! OK, let’s pretend I’m writing about famous buildings/structures that have been moved. That will help me describe my process a little better.

Draft 1

I had started with one idea about the structure (in black). Then I got a different idea and went back and tried that in purple. I often highlight notes to myself in yellow to catch my attention the next time I open a document.

Now, I have lots of decisions to make.

First, the lines of the couplet for each structure describe where it started and where it ended. I have to make sure I have the same reference points across all the structures, though. And the same relationship. In other words, do the actions/details of line 1 CAUSE the result of line 2? Or are they just observations at two different points? Is line 1 about the structure in its prime? And line 2 about the structure at its prime, just in its new location? Or is line 1 about the structure shortly before it is moved, reflecting the disuse or decay that leads to it being moved. I think I have some couplets each way, and I need to make them consistent.

Second, should I be talking directly to the structures? Or am I describing them in the third person?

Third, is each structure singular or representative of the whole type (e.g., bridges, towers, castles, office buildings, cemeteries, etc.)

I think I need to figure out those answers now, before I start working on the actual language (which is, at this point, dry as dust and in desperate need of some wordplay magic!). Even though I’m dying to get started on the fun part–the actual words and sounds!


About Laura Purdie Salas

children's writer, poet, reader, visiting author, speaker/teacher, mentor, copyeditor, freelance writer
This entry was posted in Laura's Writing Life, Writers in the World and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Draft One Done–Next Steps

  1. carolegerber says:

    Wow, Laura – you are astonishingly organized and “work-woman-like” in your approach. I just revise and ervise and revise until it sounds right to me. This is a good lesson. Thank you!

    • I do that sometimes, too. But for nonfiction, especially, I’ve learned that, for me, thinking about these questions somewhat early in the process prevents many tears and bald spots later ;>) Rhyme is especially hard to revise once I get fairly far along in the process. By then, I’m attached to my end words–which can be death to the project!

    • I should add that SOME of this happens kind of subconsciously, and it’s not til I analyze my process for sharing with people that I realize what some of my thoughts were. So it might look like chaos in the moment, but it sounds more orderly afterward:>)

  2. carolegerber says:

    p.s. I should have added “proofread” as I see the second “revise” is missing an “r.” Oops!

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