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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Another First Draft Finished

It feels exquisite to say that I've completed another first draft of a novel. That makes three complete novels I'm rewriting and reworking. Getting to the end of an original draft gives me the ultimate shiver down my spine: it's all neatly packaged away to be looked at again in a few months. No characters hanging partway down cliffs as I dither about what to do with them. I know one thing for a fact: the things I have done to my beloved characters Lizzie and Eve in this first draft will be markedly different to the ones I'll put them through in the second draft. It's a positive thing that I already know what changes I want to make next time around. I don't have any illusions that this baby is ready to be handed over to friends and relatives just yet.

So why did I bother finishing it if I knew that was the case while I was writing the second half of the novel? Well, it's a lot easier to rewrite something if you have a whole to work from in the first place. And, besides, not all of what I've written is junk. It tells me a lot about my characters and their relationships with each other. I wouldn't sacrifice this imperfect first draft for a perfect half draft with no ending in sight. You have to finish to start over.

I can pinpoint exactly when this idea sprang into my head. It was during the Wakefield Drama Festival 2011 at the beginning of June. It all came from noticing the woman sat in front of me. The initial setting altered from a working theatre to a converted one currently serving as a crumbling cinema. I started the draft on 6th June and meandered along with it quite happily. The first third was a lot easier to write than the rest. I admit the last few weeks with it have been painful. I've been forcing words from my fingertips with the promise of chocolate and tea at the end of it. Well, at least the bribes worked!

First draft total word count: 55,033.
Feelings towards my protagonists: still adore them.
Feelings towards my plot: needs work but it's not too shabby.

All makes for a reasonably content Lucy!

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