Wednesday, July 14, 2010
How I Write: Finishing a First Draft
Welcome to the fifth installment of the How I Write series, brainchild of Ansha Kotyk. A group of writers are writing about how we write – scheduled for Wednesdays through August. Please check back weekly. And click here for the list of all the writers participating and links to their blogs.
Today's topic: Finishing Your First Draft & Setting a Writing Schedule
I've finished plenty of first drafts--picture book manuscripts; nonfiction freelance projects; and waaayyy back, term papers, and scripts and reviews for my film classes. However, there was nothing so satisfying as "finishing" my first novel on Thanksgiving morning 2009. Of course, since then I've added 15K words and have "finished" it again. But finishing the first draft was special. It felt like I had accomplished something.
I wrote the novel during the "in-between" times--waiting for my daughter's art class to end, late at night when no one else was awake, lunch break at work, riding in the car (thinking only, of course). I didn't really have a set schedule. Toward the end, I was able to establish a bit of a schedule in that I wrote every day (or almost every day).
Now, with more work-for-hire projects on my plate, a second novel sort-of started, and querying and blogging responsibilities piling up (not to mention critiques and beta reads), it makes sense to put myself on a schedule. Luckily, the work-for-hire has deadlines--so that's easy to schedule. I don't want the new WIP to have to wait until October (of course, if any agents ARE interested in my current being-queried ms, I want to have some new to tell them about as well!).
I'm not sure this post really has a point. Except that the topic reminds me that I should have a schedule or at least some goals (Tina's post from last week also underscores that necessity). Let's see, I know I'll be spending evenings working on the outlines for my two WFH projects with deadlines of end of August and beginning of October for first drafts. I try to write my blog posts in advance and schedule them to post on certain days--so I'll continue to do that. I'd love to have 10K written on the new WIP by the end of the summer.
Not much of a schedule, I know. But if I set myself up to write every day, it just might work. And of course limit my twitter-stalking, and time-sucking web activities. ;)
Anybody have set schedules for your writing?