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  • Writer's pictureG R Matthews

A timeline of a first draft.

I suspect, because I am a suspicious fellow, that there are folks out there who think you start a book and finish it all in one go.

I suspect that there are authors out there who can do that. I wish, sometimes, I was like that. I’m not.

The graph below, courtesy of my lovely writing software, shows the 80K first draft of Corin Hayes #2 ‘Nothing is ever simple’.

I started it for a NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. I had a plan. Not much of one, but a rough outline of the story/situation I was going to put poor Corin in this time. How it ended, or even what happened along the way, I wasn’t too sure of, but that’s the way his stories come about.

As you can see, I did well in that month. 50k done and out of the way! Go me.

But I had to go back and finish The Red Plains, Book 3 of the Forbidden List, and redraft it, edit, get it ready for publication. That’s the big gap in the middle. It can take a long time to get a book ready!

And then, on the right, you can see the next 30K of Corin’s story. Some days were good, some not so good. But that’s always the way – as I get closer to the end of the book I find it harder to write. Part of me wants the book finished, another part doesn’t. The journey, not the destination is, I think, what I enjoy the most. It is why I don’t plan in too much detail… I’d get bored because I know how it all ends.

Anyway, it’s done.

And now the much harder work starts… redrafting and editing, making sure the story works and is good enough.

First, a beer. I’ve earned it. I’m off to Tom’s Bar to share it with Corin, though I doubt he’ll let me sit at his table. Ah well, it’ll be the one by the door again.

Power rusts your morals, tarnishes your ethics, stains your soul, and erodes your character.

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