Draft One Complete of my WIP: A Different Kind of Universe

So this happened yesterday!

I finished draft one of my WIP. The first completed thing since post Pitch Wars! I had started on another draft in between, but put it aside to work on this baby!

I love jotting down my progress in my writing notebook! So if you're into data, this draft took me 5 working weeks to complete. I say 'working weeks' because I took a two-week break in between for my offer and revisions on my previous MS. So, I'll still consider this my fastest draft despite the intermission ;)

My end word count was 71K, with 38 chapters! I posted a screenshot of my titles for fun. Draft one chapter titles are always key words or phrases to let me know what the scene is about. They will all change by the time I get it to my CP's.

For those who follow my blog, you know my process is typically:

  1. Fast Draft
  2. Take a break (almost always that means a book binge and getting back into my workouts)
  3. Read through the whole thing and come up with a revision plan
  4. Revise, revise, revise. Then one more read-through before sending off to CP's.
  5. Revise based on CP's feedback
  6. Send to Betas
  7. Revise & Edit before sending off to agent (this used to be querying)

***steps 1-4 are done in Scrivener, 4-7 I switch to MS word

But now I'm going to try juggling multiple projects! So during my break from this draft, I'm going to start jotting some notes for another story I have my eye on and work on it while I'm waiting for CP's or betas to get back to me. Usually I take a break during this period, but I'm working on conditioning myself to always be writing--even if the story never comes to anything. Any project is something to learn from, and I'm trying to remember that, because even the failed projects helped me get where I am today.

So always be reading and always be writing. Take a break when you need to, but never give up. (This is something I always tell myself, so thought I should share!)

But back to this draft! What did I learn from it?

  • A support system is like wings - In all honesty, this draft went by so quickly due to the encouragement and support of my writing friends who always held me accountable, and who inspired me by their own passion for the craft. They lifted me up when I needed it. So thank you Joan, Michella, and Krystal!
  • A first draft is a first draft - Nothing is permanent, things can be changed and/or fixed. Give yourself permission to suck. Give yourself permission to not get it right the first time. Get to know your story as you attempt to tell it to yourself. I found that once I got to the end, the characters started to come alive--they showed me who they were, I didn't have to make them. This is their story, and though I am the author, I don't know the whole story. They're still sharing it with me and we're figuring it out as we go.
  • Doubt likes to make herself comfortable during this period - I kept going back and forth, wondering if this story was clever or just plain weird. And then I saw deals with similar storylines and wondered if I should even finish. What if it wasn't marketable? Or what if I was wasting my time? Doubt can be so manipulative! So I reminded myself that I shouldn't be worrying about things out of my control. The only thing I can control? Is finishing the draft.

And cheers on that last note, because I did!