WIP First Draft Complete!

On 28th February I announced the start of a new novel and revealed I’d completed the first chapter at 1,725 words. It was on 26th March I updated progress with words reaching a total of 48,079. And on 4th April I let you know I’d completed 70,169 words but had run into a constructional problem involving the opinions and actions of a character I had issues with. It was a phase of the book I’d always known I’d have to face, but one I didn’t relish.

I finished the first draft of the novel at 103,223 words, yesterday. That’s an average of 1,876 words a day during the period.

But I’m a pantster. I write without plot, using only a basic scaffold built in my mind, never on paper, and allow my characters to determine the route to a destination I have in mind. This means I need to know my characters well, I must be able to trust them to act as created. Of course, as with all people, real or fictional, there are always surprises. These mean the story changes as I write it. But I never edit during the creative phase, it interferes with the flow. This also means the conclusion of the first draft is very far from completion of the novel.

I now need to dissociate myself from the story, so I can re-read and edit it with relatively fresh eyes. And that requires a period of separation. In a couple of weeks, I celebrate my 75th birthday, and we intend to be away from home for that. It allows a natural break from the novel before I return to the story. But it not a complete break from writing, of course. In those few intervening weeks, I have some short articles I want to write for the online platform Medium, and I’ll probably enter a few short stories into contests and anthologies.

My publisher, Fantastic Books Publishing, is organising a promotional event called MABLE, an online extravaganza involving the new books he’ll be publishing this year, and I’ll be involved in that, as it also allows me an opportunity to promote some of my earlier work.

14 thoughts on “WIP First Draft Complete!

    1. Ah, yes, Linda. For a pantster, the creating is the fun part. The editing is, however, significantly more demanding. But I still enjoy it. The day I stop enjoying the process is the day I pack up my pen!


    1. Thanks, Mick. I can write fairly quickly, as I don’t plot, so have no specific concerns regarding where the story goes at the time of creation. I allow my characters to determine the route to a pre-conceived destination. Of course, in the editing stage that means a lot more work!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations, Stuart. It’s always good to take a break from a book when it’s done. Since my critique group reviews mine chapter by chapter over a year or so, going back to the first chapter is always eye-opening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Noelle. I lost that personal touch of a writing group when I moved away. It’s always a useful way to gauge the quality of your writing. I now rely on beta readers via post/online, but it’s not the same as the face-to-face encounters.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.