15 stages you go through when writing a first draft



Obviously I am at stage 6 right now, how about you?

1. Brilliant – I’ve had the single BEST idea for a book. EVER. I’m so clever. It’s going to be AMAZING. Readers will love it. I can’t wait to write it all down.

2. Research – I’m still enthusiastic about my story but while researching I’ll just open a tab for Amazon – we could use some more towels. Oooh Twitter. Wonder what’s going on over there.

3. Not enough plot – How can I have run out of plot? I’m not even half way in. How did I ever think my incredibly stupid idea was enough to fill a book? This is going to be the shortest novel EVER.

4. Rubbish – Even my cat cringes as he curls on my desk and reads what I’ve just written. Nothing remotely interesting is happening. I need to throw in some twists.

5. Too much plot – There are so many different storylines running I have no idea who is who. There are too many twists. This is going to be the longest novel EVER.

6. Procrastination – I can’t possible start writing today until I’ve dusted the skirting boards, pulled hair from the plugholes, rearranged the cans in my kitchen cupboard into alphabetical order, written a blog…

7. My characters are amazing – I am so in love with them. They are quirky and interesting. Everyone will remember them.

8. Excitement – I am genuinely thrilled about this story. This is the one. My big breakthrough. I can feel it.

9. Constantly talking about it – Everyone I meet I tell them I’m writing a book and even in Asda when the checkout girl’s eyes glazed over I couldn’t stop telling her how fabulous it is.

10. My characters are so boring – Really – why did I think that was quirky? No-one ever actually does THAT.

11. Disheartened – I am genuinely despairing of this story. This is not the one. It will finish my career.

12. Never talking about it – When people ask if I’m writing I shrug and look at my shoes, wondering statistically what the chances are of the ground actually opening up and swallowing me.

13. Wonder – I’ve written the most emotive piece of prose. I’m so proud of it. I’ve read it aloud six times. Even my cat looked vaguely impressed.

14. Shame – I can’t believe I wrote that over emotional drivel yesterday. What was I thinking? Delete. Delete. Delete.

15. The end – I’ve finished! I’ve written a first draft. Tomorrow the rewriting starts. Send wine. Lots of wine.

If you’ve enjoyed this you might want to hop over to ’15 stages you go through with structural edits.’

29 thoughts on “15 stages you go through when writing a first draft

  1. It’s encouraging to know you’ve been on the roller coaster ride and ended with such amazing success. Thank you for sharing your invaluable experience, Louise. I can relate to so much of this. I just need to get to the end part. Best of luck with yours!

  2. Thank you for the post, it’s always good to keep the humour and to know that other writers go through all the same moments of doubt and struggle.

    I *think* I’m just coming out the other side of a procrastination stage. Having said that, here I am reading blogs on wordpress…

  3. I think that sounds about right. 😉 I sometimes like to cut through the clutter and go from Step 2 right to Step 6. Once I get past that stage I’ll let you know about the rest. When I get around to it.

  4. Pingback: Flash Fiction – Can’t you kiss it better? | fabricating fiction

  5. Ha! Great stuff, Louise and so true. The only one I don’t so it talk endlessly about a WIP -too self conscious to force my writing on other people. I must learn not to be. 🙂 Loved iy

  6. Louise this was hilarious because for me, as an hopeful author, it is all too true. I think I make the rounds several time a day.

Thanks so much for reading!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s