First Draft

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I’m writing a novel. I’m in the first-ish draft phase. That squishy place in writing that feels a whole lot like the Wild Wild West. Anything could happen.


For instance, a wild dance party in chapter 8 or 9 or 10 (whichever that particular scene ends up being).

This book, unlike My Mother’s Chamomile and Paint Chips, wants to be written by hand.

pens and pens


I’m needing to keep lots of reinforcements with me. So far, I’ve killed 4 of my beloved purple pens.

used yellow pad

And I’m tearing through the yellow legal pads.


And my hands are paying the price. My pointer finger is flat and my middle finger has a Quasimodo bump.

What do I have on my hands? A great book? Well…er…um…not yet. You see, this Wild Wild West draft is full of rogue characters and empty plot saloons. There are parts that I’m not proud of. Other parts might be okay after a few swipes of my editing eye.

You know what? It’s all good. This is how it works.

Yesterday, after a good many hours writing, I wondered if other authors have a similar experience. Or if this was all a result of me still being a rookie.

This morning, I read the most affirming post on Novel Matters. It’s by the illustrious Bonnie Grove. She articulates the Wild Wild West draft better than I. You should hop over and read what she has to say.

Be encouraged today, my friends. Your first attempt at something is always wild. It isn’t perfect. There’s room for improvement. But keep working. Keep going.

And, most importantly,

Don’t Give Up. 


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