My first draft IS my plan…

First draft IS my plan

First draft IS my plan

After writing my post yesterday, I realised something – my first draft IS my plan! And it has been ever since I was in high school…

Let me explain.

When I start writing, I have a vague idea of where I want the story to go. I usually have a beginning and an ending, but the rest needs filling out. If I try and write a paragraph by paragraph or chapter by chapter synopsis in dot points before I start, I tend to write down anything at all, but it doesn’t necessarily flow. I’ve found that when I start writing, the story doesn’t usually follow the points!

My first draft is usually written a chapter at a time, usually at the rate of a chapter a day. Using 750words.com, I can’t go back and edit the previous days work, so I keep going until the draft is done.

I do print out the chapters as I go and write on the print outs changes as the story goes on, as this does happen. For example, the current story I’m working on had my main character not happy with her apartment, but I need to change that to make her satisfied with the orderliness of it. I have written that note down for the next draft.

Once I’ve finished my draft, I rewrite it in Word, making changes from the comments I’ve made as I go through the first draft and flesh it out as many of the details are sketchy. Sometimes I also rearrange chapters to make the story flow better.

During the Chapter Book Challenge, I often comment that my 750words.com version is my “half draft” and the first draft is done once I’ve typed it into Word. This is also the point where I pay more attention to the word count… during my first go through, I look more at the number of chapters.

I’ve been using this method for the last few years, I wrote Swallow Me, NOW! this way. I’ve only just realised that my first draft IS my plan as it’s in this draft that I plan out the story. Many character, scene and plot holes are fixed up when I type the draft into Word, and these are further developed during the editing process.

Maybe this is one reason I don’t do too well with NaNoWriMo… instead of working on the draft, I’ve been working on my plan! No wonder I haven’t been able to do it. With the Chapter Book Challenge, I’ve been able to work on both my plan and my draft in the month. It does help that the books are around 10,000 words!

I guess, the definition of a “Plotting Pantser” still kind of applies, but it could also be argued that my plan is just very detailed!

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