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Drafting, Phase 2

Over the past couple of weeks I have been preparing to get back into writing the second draft of The Merchant of Dreams. This involved a bunch of research (mainly into 16th-century Venice, the main location I’m using) as well as a whole heap of plot-brainstorming and outlining. I think one of the reasons I stalled last month was lack of adequate preparation – well, not this time!

I now have 36 index cards (roughly one per chapter), each its own Scrivener document, and around 24k of draft: the first four chapters that I wrote back in April, plus a bunch of scenes from draft one that I think I can recycle. The latter will need extensive editing, but having them in the appropriate place in the story means I can stitch it all together more easily.

I’m also trying out a new technique this time. Rather than slogging through in chronological order and getting bogged down on scenes that haven’t had time to percolate through my brain yet, I’m writing each one as it comes to me and slotting it into the 36-card structure in its approximate chronological position. Hopefully this more organic process will avoid blocks and stalling!