3rd Draft finished … or is it?

I’ve read a number of posts recently about bloggers scaling back their activities in the blog world to concentrate on their writing. I must admit that I’ve been doing the same, just without telling you that I’m doing it!

Over the last couple of weeks, my day job has again dominated my thinking and dreaming. I do hate it when I wake up at 3am and can’t switch my brain off from work. I need to finish that and email it to thingy, did I send that report off to doody and watsit?

Despite my waking moments being snatched away, I have managed to finish the last 10k words of editing to finish the third draft of I Can See You. Or, have I?

The title of the post says it all. Maybe it’s just the way I work, but despite having officially gone through all the words from the second draft, marked off the totals on my spreadsheet I use to track the drafts, I still don’t feel like it’s ready to be classed as finished.

I realise that I probably never will feel it’s ready.

I’m working on that. Really. I am.

I’ve mentioned before that when I edit/redraft, I work direct on-screen. I’m still using Scrivener and finished the last scene and backed everything up. I now enter my 3P phase of editing. Another time to Pause, Print and Polish. I find I still need to print out the story and have a proper read, with pen at the ready to make any changes.

When I’m editing, I also tend to only edit the scene I’m on. My story is a police procedural and I’ve made a few slight amendments to some of the circumstances of the plot. A little tweak here and another change there. As well as the 3P, I need to revisit a few other scenes and fix them so the happenings later in the story still make sense.

I hope to do this during the next week as we’ve taken the next two weeks off work to watch Wimbledon. Not actually go to London to watch live, no. Best seat in the house, our house and watch in HD. Gives me some time to write as well.

Then I have two beta readers lined up. Both have asked on numerous occasions where the heck my book is. I better not disappoint them for too much longer. πŸ™‚

Munchie update – We had another visit to the vets this last week, this time for the little furry wonder to have a heart scan. Yes, a cat cardiologist. Who knew?

Anyway. He has a heart problem. A thickening of his heart muscle. Not too bad, but enough to cause concern and require another tablet.

Every day.


We now have to give him THREE tables everyday. Or to be precise. 1 x Kidney tablet. 1/4th Blood Pressure tablet and 1/8th beta blocker for his heart. 1/8th!!! Cutting a tablet that is already small into EIGHT is almost as much fun as then shoving that 1/8th down his throat.

He’s not impressed. Not at all, but needs must.

He is seemingly more like his old self. He is not bumping into things and hopefully, the tablets keep things under control.

A couple of flowers from our garden. A poppy and the first flowering rose of the year.



Thanks for reading.

About Pete Denton

I'm a writer working my way through the redrafts of a British crime novel. I also write short stories, flash fiction and some screen writing. Check out my blog for more.
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46 Responses to 3rd Draft finished … or is it?

  1. I feel your pain, Pete! Working on the second revision has been so slow for me…not because of a job, but because I seem to take one step forward and two back.

    But, I’m going to forge ahead and keep going, knowing that a third revision will enable me to fill in more of the “holes” I’ve left open. Good luck and know a fellow writer is suffering through the same angst!

  2. Gwen says:

    Hi Pete, Congrats on getting through draft #3. I say go with your gut. If it’s telling you it’s not “finished,” it’s probably not. I know it’s probably never truly finished. I can never open a piece without tweaking something. If you’ve got good beta readers lined up, they will certainly let you know. I have also felt the need to scale back on blogging, considering going down to 1post/wk during the summer months. Sorry to hear about Munch’s heart problem. Hope the tablets will help. Enjoy Wimbledon. We always look forward to it on this side of the pond, too.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Gwen.

      Last summer didn’t seem to be as bad as this summer blogging wise. Many more are scaling down their activities. Still, if people are concentrating on their writing it’s good people are prioritising.

      Munch seems fine. If only we could find a sure-fire way of giving him his tablets without having to force them down his neck πŸ™‚

      Wimbledon is always good and today with Roger Federer being knocked out, it’s full of surprises.

  3. Glad to hear you’re making such good progress Pete. Your Beta readers should soon have their hands on it- I hope. If not, you’ll just carry on tweaking until it becomes unrecognisable as the original book. Give it to them soon and the bow to their judgement.
    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had more cat problems but from the sound of it you’ve got a fantastic vets, he’s in the right hands there though I don’t envy you the job of giving him tablets. Peashooter at the ready is it?
    Take care and best of luck with the three p’s.
    Love the pics especially the poppy.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, David.

      Nearly there. I think having written a crime novel I’m trying to make sure everything is covered off and all the leads and redherrings are dealt with properly.

      The peashooter sounds like a great idea. Some days we give him the tablets (and by give I mean force them down his throat) with no problems. Other days, not a chance! The poppy is nice. Three flowers and a couple of more buds on the way. πŸ™‚

  4. Ergh revising can be a pain! Sorry to hear about your cat, hope he’s better soon. Beth

  5. Gorgeous pics. I’m glad to hear Munchie is feeling better.
    At this point, Let your beta readers do their thing and make changes you agree with. Then. start thinking about letting it go and sending it out into the world. It is possible to over-work it. Good luck.

  6. Laura Hogan says:

    Congrats on finishing draft 3! I remember having a nagging feeling that mine wasn’t finished – when I had it proofed all the parts I was unsure about were picked up! Then it was back to editing! Glad that your cat sounds better now. We used to grind up and hide our cat’s pills in butter – she used to lap them up then!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Laura. We’ve started grinding his tablets and hiding it in his food. The butter sounds like a good plan too. Might have to try that one πŸ™‚

  7. My job did that to me too! I finally retired in 2003. Glad the cat is better but you’re right. Trying to give our pets their meds is an art all in itself. Enjoy the tennis and the extra writing time.

  8. fhhakansson says:

    I know exactly what you mean! It seems I spend more time each day checking my blog, replying to emails, updating my facebook, and everything else. I used to say an hour a day but that’s not enough… It drains my energy and makes me lose focus (and inspiration). I have to edit some short stories but I’ll probably disconnect completely once I start on my next project. I feel your pain.
    And good luck with your editing! I always find the first and second draft annoying, but bearable. It’s the third draft and beyond that really starts to tear at me. Let’s hope this revision is the last! Good luck!

  9. Jemima Pett says:

    Amazing colour rose! Glad Munchie’s coping. My guinea pig Hugo (star of the books, he would say) had to have two tablets and a huge amount of water daily. Sick animals take a lot of time, but they are more than worth it.

    I’m ensconced in the living room watching Wimbledon – the wifi is actually better than in my office, which is a good way of justifying it.

    And I’ll be writing next month – but you knew that already!

    Good luck with the next redraft!

  10. ioniamartin says:

    They are never really ready from the author’s pov are they? Pretty flowers.

  11. Mart Dawson says:

    Keep at it m8, glad you have got so far, your gut will tell you if your finished. Hope Munchie

  12. jmmcdowell says:

    One-eighth of a pill?! I would hope a complete one would be huge so that you could easily cut it. Otherwise, you’d think they could make them in smaller dosesβ€”and blended into a favorite treat. πŸ˜‰

    Sometimes I think revisions are tougher than the actual writing. It can be hard to wrap my head around what really needs to be done after a few rounds. That’s when those first betas can be so valuable. They can catch things that a writer’s eye has glossed over.

    And you’re not alone in thinking the book is never done. I’ve yet to hear a career author say they think their work is “done” when it goes to press.

    • Pete Denton says:

      One-eighth is ridiculous isn’t it? If he doesn’t react to it he should be moving up to a quarter from next week. Still not ideal, but easier to cut!

      I think I tinker and tinker so I don’t have to let someone read it. Once I get over that part and people tell me what they think I’ll at least know where I go from here. Scary!

  13. Agree with some of the others that suggest may soon be time to hand in to your beta readers, then carry on after their feedback.

    Hope Munchie is better soon. Enjoy your tennis time!

  14. jadereyner says:

    Great post – wish I worked with doody and whatsit – they sound fab! Lol. Glad Munchie is feeling better and kudos to you for managing to get three tablets a day down his throat! πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks. It’s certainly a struggle to give him three tablets. My parents cat lived for 5 years after developing kidney disease. The thought of going through this everyday for FIVE years is daunting at the moment though I’d gladly do it.

      Doody is great, but whatsit is a moody bugger πŸ˜‰

  15. EllaDee says:

    Day jobs do that, invade your mind at all hours πŸ™‚ We watched a bit of Wimbledon last night – it’s a pleasant way to pass the time, so 2 weeks of that, writing/editing and no day job timetable sounds a great way to have a holiday. I think there’s a difference between ready and finished. It may never be finished, as in essence your writing is a living, dynamic thing but you’ll know when it’s ready. Glad to hear Munchie’s doing ok. Cats and pills… oh dear. Try the butter suggestion.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, EllaDee. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there. I think it is nearly ready. I’ll go with that.

      The butter does sound like a good idea. I might have to try that one. We’re starting to get desperate πŸ™‚

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  17. Hey Pete,
    Congrats on the 3rd draft! If you’re like me, you won’t be done revising the thing until it’s published, and then you’re still going to want to run the red ink over it once more time. I do believe it’s a writer’s curse. πŸ™‚

    I hope Munchie is feeling better. Have fun with those pills. πŸ™‚ My dogs and cat NEVER want to cooperate with meds.

    What pretty flowers!

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Tina. Writer’s curse indeed πŸ™‚

      You’d think they’d make pet meds in funky beef flavour or something. I sense a gap in the market πŸ™‚

  18. Congratulations Pete, getting to this part! I’m just getting to grips with Scrivener – will you put it into one long document now for the final polish or will you carry on editing in Scrivenor? I think it’s lovely you’ve taken two weeks off to watch the tennis and work on your book – I hope both go really well for you πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Joanne.

      I tend to compile it into Word to print so I can do the final polish on paper, but I make the changes back in Scrivener. I don’t seem to be able to fully let Word go yet πŸ™‚

  19. Kourtney Heintz says:

    So sorry to hear about Muchie needing more medication but happy he is more like himself again. πŸ™‚ I do all my revising on paper and then type it in. I usually do several rounds of paper edits. I never feel like a book is finished more like it is the best I can do at this time. πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Kourtney. I know what you mean. It will never be finished, but I do need to learn to let go and let other people read it. I like a paper edit. I get more of a feel for the story and flow on paper, for some reason.

  20. Great to hear that you’ve finished your third draft, Pete. I agree with Lord David that you can ‘fettle’ too much with a work ~ now’s the time to pass it on to those beta readers and relax a little, whilst awaiting feedback. Poor pussy cat! I’ve had that pill~cutting~up problem too but chopping it into eight pieces is simply ludicrous ~ it beats me why pharmaceuticals (for humans and for animals) aren’t made in smaller doses. I love the colour of the beautiful rose, it must really stand out in your garden! πŸ™‚

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Jacqueline. The 1/8th is fun. Problem with that tablet is it’s a human drug rather than one cleared for use with animals so I presume that’s why we’re giving him such a small dose. They should make things easier though.

      That rose is usually the first to flower and it hasn’t disappointed this year either. It does look good in the rest of the jungle, I mean garden πŸ˜‰

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  22. Jools says:

    I feel your pain too – cutting back on blogging to finish the actual writing, and then having to face all those plot holes that have opened up as the characters wandered off by themselves and the story turned left when it was supposed to turn right. With a (near) finished final draft of #myfirstnovel out with my Beta readers, I’m venturing back into the blogging pool too.

    • Pete Denton says:

      Thanks, Jools. I still wake up in the early hours some mornings thinking, “I need to resolve that.” or “what happened to that?” Hopefully once I let my Beta readers at it they will tell me any glaringly obvious points that need work.

      It is difficult to have blogging, writing and a full-time job at the same time. I need my employer to give me a couple of months paid leave to write! Don’t see that happening any time soon πŸ™‚

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