Sunday, July 14, 2013

First Draft is Complete!

I finished the first draft of my novel today!  Those are words I wasn't sure I would ever write.  I grew up wanting to be a writer, and I wrote and wrote, banging out stories on an old manual typewriter before I ever even had a class on how to type (or keyboard).  Wow, those stories were bad.  Then I got busy with life and a career and marriage and raising children.  There were several short attempts at writing a novel but these failed.  I was under the mistaken belief that just because I had read a lot of books I could write one.  Finally I bought some volumes on how to write fiction, but I didn't like what I was reading.  I wanted to write like I wanted to read - surprised by the twists and turns of the story, never know what was going to come next.  And that seems to work for some people.  But it never did work for me.

As it turns out, I needed  a roadmap to keep my story on track.  So I reluctantly created some characters and devised a plot line with Plot Point 1 and Plot Point 2 and a Climax.  Then I created the scenes, one by one, to arrive at each major point in the story.  And then, still too early, with too many scenes not fully realized in my mind, I began to write the tale.  Six months later, here I am with 62,500 words under my belt.  I should have more, I know, but the story is in place.  The common wisdom is that the second draft is for cutting, but I think I will be adding.  Maybe the cutting will have to wait until the third draft.  But I've never gotten this far before, so I am pretty excited.  It was especially fun to finally write the chapter leading up to the climax, and then the one that the whole book had been building to, and even fun to write the short scenes after that tying up loose ends and trying to work in one last little twist.  Because, you see, it is a murder mystery set in the town where I live, with, I hope, a good amount of action, suspense and plot twists.

A good deal of the book was written while I have been busier with my day job (you know, the career that pays the bills) than ever before.  How?  I've cut way back on play time, TV time, movie time, etc.  I have found writing my own little tale more interesting than any of those things.  Well, more interesting than most of those things.  My photography time has suffered too, although digital helps keep the workup time on pictures to a minimum.  But since I tend to do most of my writing on Saturday and Sunday mornings, and since Sunday mornings has historically been the time I go out and shoot pictures, my productivity on that creative activity has definitely declined of late.  Though I learned long ago that I always return to the camera.


  1. Jeff, I can't even imagine an undertaking like this. I've always been incredibly intimidated by even the thought of writing a novel. My hat is off to you, sir!

  2. Thanks Bill. It's been a challenge. And a lot of frustration. And a lot of fun at times. :)