Wanting to write a novel is just half the battle. Any new writer knows just having an idea in their minds and perhaps an outline of how the overall story is going to go is just the beginning of the work that lies ahead. Of course, for those who are doing historical or even science fiction novels there is research to perform. Fiction is one thing but readers still want some fact that they can pull from.

Once all this is done, it’s now time to write the novel. Then write it again, and again. Yes, before a novel is done it could go through many drafts as we edit and polish it. The question though is how many drafts does a novel actually require? Some might say as many as it takes. The only problem is that some of us may be forever editing and rewriting a novel to get it perfect, and this can lead to over-editing. So, with this in mind let's look at a method known as the 5 draft method that some writers follow in order to work efficiently and effectively.

Draft 1: The Junk Draft 

This is the draft where the writer just lets the ideas flow forth. Just get everything down on paper or typed out. It's the draft where we don't stop to think too much just get the bare bones of the story into existence. 



Draft 2: The Structuring Draft 

The second draft is where its time to look over everything that was written in the first draft. Now after getting done having a good laugh, time to start picking it apart. Figuring out if there is a good flow if the plot makes any sense at all. This is also the point where the writer decides if there is really a novel here and if the story does have potential if so time to move forward. 

Draft 3: The Rough Draft 

Now it's time to put the story in proper manuscript form. Keep in mind though that this is still a beginning stage so don't over analyze grammar or flow or thinking about whether some of the content is really needed at this point. Just get the story in this form from beginning to end. 

Draft 4: The Analytical Draft or Surgical Draft 

The fourth draft is where the story starts to be picked apart. Should some stuff be removed, some things added to make some of the plot more clear. How is the sentence structure, and the grammar? Does the content make sense and do the characters make sense. Sometimes a writer may need to have an impartial person they can rely on to help them with this draft because sometimes we are too close to our work to analyze it ourselves. Keep an open mind though to what the other person is saying, remember if the book isn't making sense to them odds are it won't to other readers. 

Draft 5: Final Draft 

The fifth draft where a writer goes through their work yet again to tweak things again. Let's remember that sometimes we may think our work has been edited enough but turns out there are still some things that can be fixed. Some advice where this draft is concern put the novel aside for a while before reading it. Why, because going back to it after some time can give you a fresh perspective and be able to maybe catch editing issues that might not have been caught had it been looked after right after the fourth draft. 

There is the 5 draft method to edition a book. The bottom line is this is just a guideline no one can tell a writer how many drafts to actually do on their novel. Just keep in mind eventually you will have to get done editing the story and be happy with the way it is, in order to polish it, publish it and move on to your next story idea.

Comments powered by CComment


Writing and Editing Books on Amazon












Coffee Mugs for Writers on Amazon



Journals for Writers on Amazon








Tablets for Writers on Amazon








Thriller Book Suggestions


Classic Horror Collection
By: Various
Published by: MobileReference.com

Classic Horror Collection. Incl. Dracula, Present at a Hanging, Tales of Terror and Mystery, The Phantom of the Opera, The Cask of Amontillado, Varney the Vampire, Frankenstein, The Raven & MORE... more...

Horowitz Horror
By: Horowitz, Anthony
Published by: Philomel

From the creator of the Alex Rider Adventures comes this wicked collection of macabre tales sure to send shivers up the spine. more...

Kitty's House of Horrors
By: Vaughn, Carrie
Published by: Grand Central Publishing

REALITY BITES Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a... more...

Fear: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror
By: Writers Association, International Thriller
Published by: Dutton Children's

Don't turn out the lights. Don't go out alone. And whatever you do, don't let down your guard. Because your neighbors might seem normal, but why do they collect knives and eat their steaks so bloody? more...

Our Haunted Lives
By: Belanger, Jeff
Published by: ReadHowYouWant

Our Haunted Lives features the stories of dozens of people who have witnessed the supernatural firsthand--in their homes, at work, in cities large and small, in the United States and abroad. more...
  Ghost Hunt
By: Hawes, Jason; Wilson, Grant; Dokey, Cameron (other)
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
An exciting new middle grade collection of spooky paranormal investigations based on REAL ghost hunts from stars of the TV show Ghost Hunters , the number one reality show on cable television! In a lush, thick volume, Ghost Hunt will feature multiple... more...

Living With Ghosts
By: Sperring, Kari
Published by: DAW

The dazzling debut from a brilliant new fantasy talent. This highly original, darkly atmospheric fantasy novel immerses readers in a world where ghosts and other malevolent spirits seek entry into mortal realms—invisible to all but those who are not... more...

The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Paranormal
By: Brown, Nathan Robert
Published by: Alpha Books

An otherworldly examination of the unknown that will keep fright fans reading all night From any strange experience that can't be defined by science to psychic phenomena to monsters and weird creatures, The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to the Paranormal... more...

Shadow Tales
By: Grover, John
Published by: Double Dragon Publishing

There is a world that exists within our world. It is the world of shadow. A realm where anything is possible, a world where nothing is as it seems, a world that few have ever seen and returned to tell the tale. In this world new kinds of monsters are... more...

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft
By: Gleason, Katherine
Published by: Alpha Books

This guide offers a beginner's look at the history of paganism, Wicca, and witchcraft, from the Druids and Celts to the witches of today who practice an earth-based religion, cast spells, and perform natural magic. The book, written by a practicing witch,... more...

Best Selling Fiction Titles

Books that are definitely worth a read - our Best Selling Fiction

Free Excerpts

Free excerpts for titles which are new, noteworthy or strongly in demand this month.

Just Arrived!

We're adding hundreds of great titles each month.

Recently Reduced Titles

On Sale - Our favorite and most popular ebooks!