Tag Archives: first draft

Achievement Unlocked: Complete First Draft

First Draft!Remember last week when I wrote a post about how I was almost finished the first draft of my WIP?

Well, the seemingly impossible has happened.

I’ve FINISHED.

(Yes, that did deserve all capitals.)

I typed the last word of my novel last night. (For the curious, that word was “do”.)

In total, the first draft is 88,760 words. That works out to 326 pages. If you’re like many non-writers, that doesn’t mean much to you. So if you’d like an idea of what that means in real terms, grab a handy paperback book and open it to page 326.

That’s how big my novel is.

Before you ask…

No, you can’t read it.

Not yet.

I still have a LOT of work to do before my novel is finished, and even a lot of work to do before I’ll willingly hand it over to beta readers. So, what happens now?

My plan goes something like this:

  1. Take a break for a few days. Because wine. And chocolate. And the accolades of my friends and family.
  2. Because I’m a pantser rather than a plotter, a lot of story elements actually changed during the writing process. I significantly changed the backstory of my protagonist at about 35,000 words. I significantly changed the motivations of the antagonist at about 40,000 words. I changed the setting at 50,000 words and the season at 65,000 words. So a lot of the early part of the story is, shall we say, inconsistent with the last half. So my second step is to address this.
    • I’ll read through the first half, making notes about structural and character changes that need to happen.
    • I’m not going to pay any attention to word usage, spelling, grammar, etc during this.
    • Then I’ll step into the story and make the changes I’ve highlighted.
    • Finally, I’ll make the relevant changes to setting and season where necessary for the continuity of the story. (But without getting bogged down in adding description.)
  3. Then it will be time to hand it over to my alpha readers and ask for feedback on the story, structure, and characters.

I don’t know how long it will take for my alpha readers to give me their feedback, but I don’t plan on touching this novel again until 2-3 months has passed from the time I hand it over. Then there’s a round of edits, beta reading, more edits, and possibly more beta reading. But I’ll think about all that later.

So what am I going to do during the upcoming 2-3 months?

I’m glad you asked.

You see, I have this great idea for a novel…

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The Importance of a Supportive Environment

Celebrate

You’re probably wondering why my posts have been a bit more sporadic than usual over the last few weeks.

Okay, in my ego-driven imagination, you’re wondering why my posts have been a bit more sporadic than usual over the last few weeks. In reality, you probably haven’t noticed. And there’s a pretty good chance that, even if you have, you don’t care.

Leave me to my delusions, darn you!

Now, where was I? Oh yes.

You’re probably wondering blah blah blah last few weeks.

There is a reason — a reason I like to think of as A Good Reason, in fact.

My creative brain is locked inside a little room with the novel I’ve been working on for… well, almost as long as I’ve been blogging, (two years in April) and I’m finding it hard to write these little snippets of my life on as regular a basis.

Because…

I’VE NEARLY FINISHED!

Okay, the celebration may be a little premature. But not much. I’ve got about 8000 words left to write, and then I’ll be finished the first draft. And the last bit is, of course, the best bit. The high tension, high excitement, do-or-die, winner-takes-all, good-vs-bad, stand-off between the protagonist and the antagonist. It takes all my willpower to draw my mind out of my story for long enough to remember that my children need to be fed, let alone to remember to blog.

So, I’m sorry.

But not that sorry. Because this has been a long time coming, and I’m looking forward to finishing the first draft and starting on the long, and much-anticipated Road of Revision.

So I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has supported me while I’ve been writing. Thanks to my blogging friends and the great community I’ve found here and elsewhere on the web. Thanks to my family and friends. Thanks to my writing partner, Claire, who has provided inspiration and pep talks when needed (as well as a bottle of wine to open when my draft is complete!). And thanks most of all to my husband, Robbie, who has supported, encouraged, and believed in my writing and this story all along.

When I told Robbie I wanted to celebrate the completion of the first draft by purchasing a book that will give me extra insight into my setting and help me with my revisions, he said, “That’s not a treat, that’s a necessary tool you need for your career. You should get a massage or something.”

Thanks, Rob, for your support. And also for using the word “career” instead of “crazy, impossible dream”.

So if there’s a few days in between my posts, now you know why. I promise I’ll be back full-time when I type ‘The End’.

Who is your biggest fan and supporter?

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