First draft (approximately)

Had a writing day on Sunday afternoon. Half a dozen people came over, and we sat quietly and working on our own writing projects for two two-hour blocks, with a half-hour socializing break in the middle.

And I got almost to the point of a first draft of my novella.

This is the story I've been working on for a ridiculously long time now, which I've been describing as a portal fantasy. I originally expected it to be a novelette, but just covering the plot I had planned has brought it to 35,000 words. Which is a hard length to sell, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Unfortunately, I only seem to find time to work on it when I set aside a dedicated day for writing, which I rarely do. It's been languishing untouched for months.

Last time I poked at it, I marked every section (I'm using Scrivener) as one of three states: First Draft (that is, needing no more work before I declare the draft complete), Incomplete (needing a little more work, usually just bits of research), or To Write (barely started). I think at the beginning of Sunday there were about fifteen Incomplete sections, and two to four To Write sections.

I got through all of them on Sunday, and now all the sections are at First Draft status.

Then on Monday night, I finally implemented a long-planned character name change, which wasn't as straightforward as that sounds.

I'm not quite ready to declare the draft finished. I still want to add in three or four brief flashback scenes (probably no more than a thousand words total). I found places for those on Tuesday night, but haven't written them yet.

But I think I can write them in about two more hours' work.

So I'm hoping to have a complete draft by the end of the week.

Then, of course, there's the getting feedback, and then the heavy revising. And then the really hard part: trying to sell it.

So there's a long way left to go. But at least I've nearly reached a major milestone.

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