A few days ago, the words were flowing for me. I was writing a couple of thousand words a day– all was going well.
Then, yesterday, I was writing away and I realised ho close I was to the end of the book. So I wrote a little bit more. Then a little bit more. Then, I discovered I had written 7,000 words and had actually joined the start of the book to the end of the book, which has actually been written for a few years. I was done. Finished. Woo hoo.
I then did 2,000 un-words, making the start and the end fit together better. And I was done again. (Most writers will tell you that they finish books and stories many times before they finish them.)
I did a happy dance, then realised there was something I’d left out. And, well, shouldn’t I have put that bit in as well? And that bit there needs to be included. But no. I’ve finished. I’ll look at those bits in the second draft.
So, today, I have a completed first draft. I’ll print it out and go through it with a red pen or a green pen– I haven’t decided yet, but it’s an important decision. Then I’ll give the book to my wife and she can use the other colour. (I usually like to do it in the other order– and I still might– because I don’t like my comments influencing what my wife think.)
A Different Kind of Heaven is currently 65,000 words. It’s shorter than any first draft I’ve written in the last 18 years (actually since my first novel), but I know there will be a lot added, mainly to bring the characters to life a bit more.
But that’s for some other time. Today, I have a first draft and it feels good.