#Writing the second draft of the first scene

#Writing the second draft of the first scene

This post is about editing a first draft. Anyway, about the way I do it. You can compare the product of the first edit (this post) with the unedited first draft (last post).

Note: as with any of my other posts in this section of my blog, it may contain spoilers to my writing. So proceed at your own risk.

In my last post I discussed my routine of reading aloud my previous piece of writing as I edit it. I had contemplated recording myself doing so, but then I realised that it would a very dull recording full of “Oh damn – that does just not work” and similar. Anyway I read it out aloud to myself trying to get a sense of the rhythm. I actually changed some perfectly fine sentences simply because the beat did not fit well with what went before and what went afterwards. I guess it’s the singer in me.

As I read out aloud I jotted down notes on Notepad about aspects of the story telling that did not feel right. Foremost among these was the feeling that the two main characters in the scene – Elder Kaudos and Elder Kadmeos – felt a bit two dimensional. Even stereotypical: silly old man and grumpy old man. I tried to fix that by elaborating upon Gaudos’ cluelessness with women (already mentioned) and the reason Kadmeos was grumpy (he had been making a pot of tea that was now likely to go cold).

I also look for opportunities to replace adjective-noun or adverb-verb combinations with one word that means the same. I don’t always succeed, but I try. I think that is a recent habit (as in past few years) I gained from watching videos of lots of writers discussing their own use of words.

My next dilemma was that I had not really described the environment very well. The thing was, when I started adding description the pace of the storytelling slowed down. I wanted it fast. So I have decided to move the description into the second scene.

I think that is all I have done in this edit. There will doubtless be more edits, but as of now I feel sufficiently content to move on to the next scene.

Anyway, here is what this scene looks like following my first round of editing.


Bubbles belched up from the crimson depths of the Carnal Pool. The whoosh and plop of them surprised Elder Gaudos who up till now had been composing an ode to epistemology. For reasons only known to himself he felt such a work would impress widow Gumption. Maybe even achieve that desired invitation to tea where he could share his speculations upon solipsism. Gaudos may have been a canny philosopher but none would credit him with insight where women were concerned.