30 June 2012

Draft One: Done!

I have typed “The End” (and then found a lovely lyrical font for those words), and I’m calling myself done. I don’t think I have any more story to think up!

I suppose I might be cheating a bit in saying the first draft is complete, because I know there are words yet to be written. In the process of completing the story I have discovered more about it and my characters, and I have made notes on extra bits and pieces I need to do to make it richer. There are also scenes I know I’ll need to re-work, whether that’s filling them out, deleting text (such as unnecessary backstory), or both. But what I have done is, I hope, complete the story from beginning to end. That is, I know what happens, and the order of all the scenes. I am at a commercial word count (circa 80,000 words).

The only thing I feel a bit nervous about as far as story structure goes, is that the first act is probably too long, and the last act is probably too short. But I’ll need readers to let me know if it’s noticeable. And I’m not ready for readers yet – I still have a lot of work to do.

So how long has it taken me to pound out this draft? Well in purely calendar terms, I began planning to write the draft in October, not doing any proper writing until November (for NaNoWriMo). I’ll admit I did a few cheeky scene notes in advance, purely so I wouldn’t forget key phrases or ideas. I got to 40,000 words at the end of the month, and then to 60,000 before we went on our big trip at the end of February – over Christmas and the rest of summer quite a bit of my time was spent planning for said trip, and I also went through a period of being stumped. Then I’ve plugged away slowly but surely since April, and here we are.

Where are you at with your current WIP? How long does it take you to complete a draft?


  1. Congrats! Well done!

    Each WIP is different. Some flow in no time, others...well, years.

  2. Whoop whoop! That's fantastic - congrats! It usually takes me about 6-8 weeks, I'd say. My first drafts are a mess, though.

    1. I hope to complete drafts in that sort of time period if I ever get to write full time. I can dream!