First draft

A timely post from Diane Chamberlain on first drafts provided the kick I needed to actually put fingers to keyboard for the first draft of the opening of my novel (the nano novel that I’m resurrecting). I certainly met the criteria for the first draft, quality-wise! What I need to do now is get past the ideas and see how well I’ve put them into words, how well (or badly!) I’ve created my images and what I want to get across with this passage as opposed to what I’ve actually put across.

So far I’ve not been one for much editing; I tend to picture a scene really thoroughly in my mind, so the words flow well from the start, and writing fanfiction means that you don’t need to go heavy on the description because generally your reader is familiar with the characters and settings already. Writing original fiction, however, takes that crutch away, and since mine is set in an alternate/future reality I need to be very careful to create my characters and settings thoroughly from the start, and make sure the main character has strong motivations for her actions.

The opening runs at just under 1000 words, but I anticipate that by the time I’ve added in description and more background that will be longer. I think it might be time to let that settle for the night while I start reading my book on description and setting. Then I’ll take another look tomorrow and see what I can do to improve it a little. My favourite word at the moment when it comes to fiction is “polished”. I think my novel will need a lot of elbow grease to polish it enough for general consumption! I do intend to keep the first draft, though, so I can look back someday on how far I’ve come.

I’m hoping that this will be ready for discussion at a writers’ meeting, so I want to do the best I can but I’m also hoping for a fresh pair of eyes (or several pairs) to give me ideas of what works and what doesn’t.

I do feel so much better, though, for having written and for having something to edit.


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