Being a writer – part 21 – the draft

Hi Everyone,

Self-publishing is a fantastic and rewarding journey and it all starts with that first draft. I’m going to talk about drafts this week, but first…

The weeks progress

Well it’s been nearly three weeks since I last sent you a newsletter. In that time we’ve had the holidays and new year. Our joint project now stands at over 22,000 words and is really taking shape.

I have finally come up with a title for the sequel to “Am I really a secret alien spy?” Look for the big reveal in the next few weeks. The word count now stands at just over 20,000. I’m aiming for 35,000 so I’m really happy with my progress.

Speaking of progress, I track my writing progress throughout the year – yes I know, I’m a nerd. But 2020 saw me write 160,000 words or 85 chapters and complete 19 drafts.

But, what do you mean by draft?

For me, a draft is a completed version of a book. My personal preference is to complete draft 1 as quickly as possible. Just to get the idea out of my head and into Word.

Doesn’t draft 1 mean the book is complete?

When I first started writing, I used to believe this. The story is complete, fantastic, move on to the next one. I’m sure I’m not the only one out there who used to think that.

The more I write, the more I realise how powerful the review process is.

How many drafts do I need before my book is complete?

Some people would say that a book is never complete, they just stop writing at a point and leave it at that and move to the next.

There is no magic number. I personally like to do 2 drafts before I give the writing to anyone to look at (beta readers). Often the second draft is thousands of words longer than the first.

Then another draft once the beta readers have fed back their comments and then pass to my editor for her feedback.

How many drafts did you write?

My first book, Puzzle Train went through 23 drafts and 2 editors and I kept them all.

As with most things writing, there is no definitive wrong and right, but to paraphrase a great man the completion of the first draft is not the beginning of the end, rather than the end of the beginning.

Even if you’re at your first draft, or your twentieth, if you want to self-publish your manuscript, get in touch with us and we’ll guide you through the process.

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