It’s a draft!

At some 91,000 words (!), I seem to have an exploratory draft.

As usual at this point, it doesn’t feel like anything is finished, yet, really, because this first draft is such a preliminary thing–a vantage point from which I can step back, think a little, and work out what the book is really about. There’s a lot of stuff in it–two or three books worth, probably–so it’s about figuring out what’s part of this book, and how it might arc and form a story.

I think my interacting with the draft–talking to the characters, letting them redefine what had already happened, changing direction without going back, did let me push farther–especially in the last third of the draft, where, unlike in some of my other exploratory drafts, I was still uncovering new stuff–new mythology, new thematic threads, and so on–of a sort that I often don’t find until the next draft.

I think that interacting is also part of why this draft is so (for me) long–will be interesting to see if the final book runs long too. Then again, the fact that I spent 40,000 words getting to the place where I think the real book begins may have something to do with that, too.

I think I’m probably closer to the story I want to tell this time than I was the last time around. In a rough, incoherent, probably-not-all-that-close-to-any-outside-observer sort of way.

Several characters disappeared partway through the draft, as happens, which tells me that they possibly aren’t part of the final story after all. Several threads disappeared, too, most of which can go, but at least one of which I need to weave in more thoroughly instead.

So now I force myself to step back, and use the draft to do some serious thinking–and to do some of the sort of writing that can only happen when you give yourself permission not to put words on the page for a few days.

In a way, the exploratory draft is what gives me the things to think about. Now that I’ve done some digging and unearthed them, so to speak.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *