The First Draft is FINISHED!!!!!

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More exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!

It totals 95,906 words across a prologue and thirty three chapters. 41,000 words of those were written since the 5th of June, a bit of a mammoth effort but mainly got to by increasing my word count goal to 2,000 a day. More work but I did it each and every day and now the first draft is done.

Finito!

Well, as complete as any first draft is which is to say it’s pretty much shit and fucked in so many places.

But first drafts aren’t there to be lovely and purpose. They’re there to let us suck, to explore the story as a whole and see what works and what doesn’t. Now I have a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end with plot arcs that sort of make sense I can take a look at it, work out what needs to be changed.

A quick list of pro’s and con’s for this first draft, starting with the con’s:

CON’S (boo!):

  • It’s not very good – my writing has improved a lot since the first draft of Oranje, but I still have a lot of work to do on the art of writing, though I think that will always be true.
  • The pacing is all over the place – this I’m not 100% sure of, but I think re-reads of the first draft will only confirm.The first half is too slow and the second half moves too fast. Needs changing.
  • Too much dialog, not enough description – a problem that plagued all my drafts of Oranje and I’d say was still there in the final work.
  • Characters need work – they’re not really there as distinct personalities yet in many cases.
  • Grammar? Who needs grammar! – ahaha oh god its terrible.

However, however, those cons are pretty much the point. You write the first draft to get it done then sort this out, so let’s move on to the pro’s.

PRO’S (yay!)

  • It’s a hell of a lot better than Oranje’s first draft was – that was half the length of the final book and I basically rewrote the whole thing for the second draft. I’m expecting major changes to this first draft, but not on the same scale.
  • I can see the improvements – the pacing and balance of the book is better, and the characters are more fleshed out at this point than they were on Oranje.
  • All of the con’s can be fixed! – that’s the big pro, the fact all of them are solvable problems. The story isn’t complete shit, it’s just rubbish, rubbish that can be trimmed and tucked and smashed into shape.

So all in all i’m a happy Jack – we’ll see how long that lasts once I start editing – and enjoying the moment. Be a short break whilst I work on a few issues I know straight away and working on a draft back of the book description, and then on to edit lands it is.

Today I smile.