On a drafting roll

I’ve started Draft 4. This probably means nothing to most people, but to other aspiring and published authors, you know where I am.

On Sunday I sat down to write the third last chapter of my third draft only to find I had in fact finished. The end surprised me – not the content, but the fact that I had already arrived when I had been thinking that there needed to be more.

Once I’d (well my story) climaxed it did seem stupid (flat) to drag it out for the sake of a few chapters, especially when I could cover it in the chapter I wrote on Sunday morning.

So that was it. Draft 3 complete. I always knew there would be another draft; so many changes (improvements) had been made toward the end of draft 3 that needed to be referenced earlier.

But I don’t want it to drag out as long as the third. I’m lucky enough to have a publisher who is interested in reading it and I don’t really want to keep him waiting in the wings too much longer.

So I made a plan for completing.

One chapter a day. That’s my plan. And not only is it working (I did give myself the first day off between drafts to high five myself) but I seem to have so much more time now I am not agonising over new words, the plot and the end.

I feel light. Happy. And proud. I also feel confident that I will get this done and the more I say it out loud the more compelled I am to stick to it.

Not only does saying it out loud keep it real for me, it also keeps it real for readers who may be fooled into thinking that writers dream up a story, quickly write it, then send it off to a publisher to be printed. No no no. It is a very lengthy process that literally takes years. A slow burn.

One chapter a day equals 35 days (three down already). A two week break then the final draft (more line editing) at a much faster rate.

Hip hip hooray. The end is in sight (and then all going well it will be picked up by a publisher and I will begin the editing process again).

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