Making Progress

I’ve been chugging away at the first draft of my next book, throwing a few thousand words at it a few days a week. I’m trying to find a balance between using my free time in the morning for writing, but also reading. I’m sure it’s been said a million times in history, but it’s hard to be a good writer if you’re not a good reader. So, I’m trying to be a better reader, while still finding time to write.

As of this morning, I’m a little over 63,000 words into the first draft. I’m targeting around 90,000 words, give or take. That’s around the average for a full-length novel, though some of mine fall a little shorter than that.

It’s really up to the story and the characters. Have they said all they wany to say and done all they needed to do for the story to be complete?

For me, a second draft usually adds a few thousand words, as well. I find spots that need to be fleshed out more. Sometimes I find entire chapters that need to be deleted. Sometimes I find something I’d previously written and deleted in the trash and revive it. It all depends on how I feel as I read through the first draft.

Often, the first draft for an author makes little sense. It’s just a way to word vomit everything that you want to get out. Then, in the second draft, you try to make sense of it. For me, though, that’s never been the case. My first draft is usually pretty close to what the final version will be. If you’re familiar with my work, you know I write in a stream of conscious. My characters talk and interact the way I do, because that’s how I see life. If a character thinks something, they say it. And I try to make my dialogue as natural as possible. I write how I think people actually talk, even if that, sometimes, isn’t grammatically correct.

In case you’re curious, I’m revealing for the first time that the tentative title of the book is Marty. It has nothing to do with the paranormal or ghosts of any kind. And, I promise, nothing is haunted this time around. While I recognize not everyone loved the shift in genre from my norm to the paranormal with Dudley Road, I felt it was a story I needed to tell. But, don’t worry, we won’t be going down that route again!

I’m hoping to have the last third of the first draft of Marty done by the end of July. It’ll still be a while to get through additional drafts, beta readers, artwork, editing, etc. etc. etc. But, all progress is good progress!