Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Second Draft of MG Finished!

I saw a tweet from Shannon Hale not that long ago that compared writing a first draft to shoveling sand in a sandbox so that she could build a castle with it later.

For me, writing a first draft is more like sketching a picture I'm going to paint with a pencil. That first sketch is limited, and I put in things that I know will have to change, even before I start layering paint. The eraser is my friend.

The last couple of first drafts I've written have been in notebooks. I haven't transferred Nightingale from the notebook to the computer yet, but tonight I finished my second draft of the MG space opera I wrote in the fall. At 20,998 words, it's slight, but it's longer than the 75 written pages it started out as.

It may double in size.

Some people write a lot of words in the beginning, cutting them later. I spend the first draft finding my characters and plot. Then I add layers. Either way, a lot of words get deleted or painted over.

This draft was my first experience with Scrivener, and I'm going to keep the story there for one more draft. Then I'll switch over to Word. I'll blog more about learning how to use Scrivener later. But at this point, I'm sold; I'll be typing Nightingale into Scrivener later this year.

What have you been up to this month?


  1. Congrats on finishing your second draft. I love the editing process. I've been job hunting. Not nearly as fun as what you've been up to.

    1. I'm sorry. I don't like job hunting, either. I wish you the best with it, though!

  2. I've been spending a lot of time in Southern California with family members who need support. But February is going to be for me and some writing.

    Congrats, my friend.


    1. Thanks, Susan! I hope February is a better month for you, and for your family members, too!

  3. Congratulations! I just began revising my first draft and I've been adding layers also. Am looking forward to you writing about Scrivener :)

  4. Thanks, Catherine! Good luck with your revision!

  5. A couple of other writers I know use Scrivener and they love it. I haven't tried it yet.

    My books always start out thin. Then in subsequent drafts I have to add words, while adding layers of meaning. I don't outline, but I've been told I should think of that short first draft as my outline.

    Glad to hear you've been productive. I finished my fourth novel and now need to go back and revise and then revise some more!