You Never Forget Your First Draft

Last week I grandly proclaimed that I was aiming to have my novel finished by the end of the year. Now, eight days later – about 5% of the way through the remainder of the year – how am I doing?

It’s not going very well. In fact, it’s not going at all.

That’s not to say I’ve done no writing, just done nothing on the novel. I’ve started clearing through my bedroom, and started on the big pile of papers on my bedside table.

I’ve got a load of pads and notebooks, which I’ve used over the years to start bits and pieces, which I’ve never finished. I’ve always refused to throw them away because you never know when you might want to pick them up again.

I started digitising them this week, by typing them up on my laptop so that I can get rid of some of the clutter.

Lordy, there’s some nonsense there, though. The grammar’s all over the place, the story is non-existent, and the handwriting’s not too great either. However, there are some good bits (I’m particularly proud of a Meatloaf joke that I put into one piece) and if there’s only one good bit then it’s been worth doing this exercise.

I’m still making my way through the papers, but some of them include some of the material that I wrote three years ago for the sequel to Memories of a Murder. The plot has changed since then, but some of the elements are still there, so much of that is probably salvageable.

So, I did slightly under represent myself when I’d written 0% – assuming I can find room for that Meatloaf joke, I’m 0.03% done.

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