First Draft

So the first draft of Checkmate, Septimus Series Book 3, is in the bag, as of two hours ago. And by first draft, I mean raw, unvarnished, un-spell-checked, NaNoWriMo-ish, plot-hole-riddled, wordy etc etc. (you get the picture). I had frozen in place at the end of NaNo in the middle of a scene, having crossed the 50K-word finish line. Then Christmas happened, aka no writing for about a month, and then a January full of sort of limping along, stuttering my way to the completion of the book. But now it’s done – there is a STORY here.

And I’m exhausted. Writing is tiring, you know? Especially if you write the way I do, which is in spurts – nothing, nothing, nothing, writewritewritewrite, nothing, nothing… I’ve yet to master the fine art (which some of my friends are experts on) of writing so many words a day, come rain, shine, or cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballs. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do in little bits every day – I tend to be an all-or-nothing person, sort of a single-track mind. I obsess on whatever-it-is until I’m done, or lose interest and pick up the next subject.

So, draft is finished, dinner has been had, and now I think it’s time for another glass of wine and an episode or two of Once Upon a Time (we’re up to Season 2, Episode 10). And tomorrow, or whenever, it’s back to the drawing board for Checkmate. Re-read, re-write, rinse and repeat.

Life, the Universe, and Finished First Drafts. Checkmate!

Sunrise on sea of fog – this morning as I started writing.

6 thoughts on “First Draft”

  1. So here’s the thing… (I am about to impart jewels here, lol)
    You know that whole “writer’s block” thing? I read about this “dreaded” state in an interview given by a famous author. I can’t for the life of me remember who it was, but it was someone big like Margaret Atwood or Alice Munro–someone of that caliber. Anyhoo, this writer was of the opinion that writer’s block was actually a necessary plight in the overall writing process. Writer’s block happens, according to this writer, because the brain says “no”, and inspiration is not forthcoming. Often, according to this person (whom I still can’t remember), the writer must wait until able to write again. This is because the brain needs a break. It’s all about the creative muscle taking time to catch its breath. It doesn’t last, and it’s frustrating, but it is a good thing. Apparently, all the free-writing in the world is not going to help it. The best thing to do is have a glass of wine and go shoe shopping. 🙂 After all, she with the most shoes wins!

    1. I’m don’t think it’s Writer’s Block I’m talking about so much as just a style of doing things. I’ve always worked that way – it was the same with writing grad school papers. Every morning I tell myself that TODAY, I’ll start my work promptly after breakfast and spend all day writing and get so much done. Tune back in in the afternoon, after three hours of Facebooking and Rabbit-trailing…

      But still, this thing about needing to wait for inspiration to start bubbling again, that’s exactly it. I’m a “strike while the iron is hot” person. If it comes to cooking dinner for my family (or other boring routine stuff), I can make myself do it while I’m not motivated; but where anything creative is concerned, I just can’t do it by applying “discipline” and “just sitting down to make myself”. I know others can – but not me. At least that’s what I”m telling myself – maybe I’m making excuses, but there it is.

      1. Wow. That sounds JUST like me. I’m all about “That’s it! I am going to get up, have breakfast, and get to it!! No more fooling around. I must get this done!!” And come lunch time, I have checked my emails, blogged, facebooked, twittered, poked about on Barnes and Noble, and had a few games of computer Scrabble/Backgammon–all under the guise of waiting for inspiration or “I might as well get this taken care of…messages building up, etc.” So, yeah…. ya said a mouthful, sister. ;p

  2. Congratulations on getting your first draft finished. Much like you, I am also an all-or-nothing type of person, and it can be really difficult to stick with an idea to completion. NaNoWriMo worked wonders for me, as the social aspect kept shaming me into writing every day and finishing my novel by Nov. 30th. My best advice is to figure out what you are passionate about and throw yourself into it until it is done. Some writers can work on multiple projects at once, and maybe you can, too, but I know that my brand of all-or-nothing does not tolerate having inspiration spread across projects for very long.

    1. Yes, NaNo is awesome for making you get the job done. That was my issue: with my first two books, I actually finished that first draft (more or less) by Nov. 30th. November was NaNo madness, writewritewrite, and then I got on with editing after that. But with this story, I only got my 50K done in November, but the story wasn’t finished. Right now, I’m having to learn to write, to catch that wave, *without* the mad energy of the NaNo support – it’s a new experience.
      Multiple projects at once? Nope. Very much not.

      (And by the way, thanks for the comment – it’s nice to meet you!)

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