20 August, 2015

Draft One - Check!

Nearly two years after I started, I have finally finished the first draft of a new novel, under the working title of Matthew's List. I cannot tell you how happy and relieved I am about this! The time pressure was getting pretty intense...

Some of you may recall that earlier in the year I blogged about my decision to scrap all 40 000 words of my first draft and start again. It was absolutely the right decision for all the reasons I gave at the time, but it was tough. I'd started the novel when I was pregnant with my first baby and reached 20 000 words when he was born. It took me six months to get back to it, at which point I thought it would be better to start again. To start AGAIN some months after that felt like a necessary but backwards step. Now, finally, 95 000 words later, I have a finished draft - days, or a couple of weeks at most, before Baby Number Two is due!

It's been hard to make myself write, especially these last few weeks as I've grown bigger and more tired. The impulse to lie down when my son was having a nap was overwhelming. But plenty of writers have overcome much more difficult obstacles and, with my husband and in-laws giving me the occasional extra hour to write by looking after Digory, I wanted to push on. Until a few days ago I didn't think there was any chance I was going to finish. Suddenly, on Monday this week, I realised I was almost there!

As with all my first drafts, it's terrible. There are unnecessary scenes, plot holes and a plethora of inconsistencies. I need to simultaneously add tonnes of details and slow scenes down, AND cut out a lot of waffle and speed things up. But that's OK. That's what my initial drafts are like. I am more of a natural editor than a natural writer and getting a complete manuscript in the first place is always my biggest challenge.

I have no idea how long it will take me to get back to writing - to even read through what I've written (there hasn't been time to re-read anything as I've worked on it!) It could be months. It could be years - although I hope not! Now though, I have something to go back to. I've missed short story and flash fiction writing very much, but it was worth the sacrifice just to have written that final sentence.


  1. That's brilliant news, Chloe. I actually said, "Yay!" out loud at the screen. Everything a first drafter needs to know if encapsulated in your post. And just in time to, erm, put your feet up...

    1. Thanks. Putting my feet up is the only way I can see them now!

  2. Good job on finishing the next one. At least it's done and ready for you when you go back to it. Now you can enjoy your break and baby when it comes. :)

  3. Thank you for the useful information you are sharing with us.It is really a nice blog and I just want to see such kind of blogs again.

  4. Well done, Chloe and best wishes with both book and new baby!


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