Friday, October 18, 2013

First Draft...Done!

I did it! I finally finished my first draft yesterday morning! *doing happy dance*

My CP texted Wednesday night to tell me she’d written The End on her first draft. I wasn’t surprised. Natalie writes like a speed demon when she puts her mind to it. Her drive and determination is super inspiring, not intimidating. Scratch that. It is a wee bit terrifying. So I panicked. I wondered if I'd ever finish my own story, and worried that if I didn't Nat would think I’m a total slacker and dump me as a CP. Ten minutes later, I got busy.
I ended up pulling an almost all-nighter, typing with the frenzied energy of a hungry rat who’d just devoured a package of double stuff Oreos. I knew I needed to stop revising and agonizing over every single word I wrote. I needed to get the words down—any words—and finish the draft. I managed to write nearly 7,000 words before I called it a night at 3:00am. 

Five hours later I was back at work. I wrote an additional 1k so I could type The End on my Highlander novella. I didn’t cry. I didn’t squeal in delight. Somehow it didn’t seem real, perhaps because my final chapters are very rough and I still have a lot to revise. Even so, I’m happy. 

I completed my first draft!!!!  

This is the first story I’ve completed, and it feels wonderful.

My draft is just under 40,000, right on target since I’m aiming for around 40-60k. I expect the total word count to fluctuate some during the revision and critique stages, and that’s okay with me. I wrote differently this time to complete the first draft, which means I have more than a few scenes that need to be fleshed out. I ended up using Nat’s detailed plot outline tactic to finish my book, and it made a huge difference. Basically, some scenes have dialogue, action, and descriptions of the characters and settings, while others are less detailed. Not worrying over word choice and other things allowed me to move the story forward and get everything down on the page. I struggled to write this way in the beginning because I love writing a clean first draft, but I decided to give it a try since Natalie was having so much success with this tactic. It paid off! 

My next stage is rewriting and revising, a process I enjoy immensely. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take; I still need to create a deadline that meshes with my goals. I hope to have a completed clean draft by mid-December, but if it takes another month or two then so be it. I would like to be querying before spring. I’ll get there. I know I will. How could I not with such an awesome, supportive CP on my side, right?

For the moment, I’m savoring my accomplishment and catching up on blogging and watching my favorite TV shows.
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  1. Awwww *beams* I would never drop you, especially over something like that! I knew you could do it. You just needed the right mixture of support, confidence, and fear (LOL). I never would have put that last one in there, but if it works I'll use it ;)

    Not only are you an amazing critique partner and writer, but you're a wonderful friend! We will succeed together, even if that means we have to scare each other into action.


    1. I know you would never drop me over something so ridiculous. I was being silly and trying to scare myself into action. Apparently it worked. ;)

      Right back atcha, girl!! We *will* succeed together. I know we will!