Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

First Draft Audit


It’s Friday, so I guess I’m fessing. Anyone going to join me in the booth?

Here is the recently-completed audit of the first draft of my novel:

Potential titles: 8

Main characters: 1

Secondary characters: 4

Tertiary characters: 76

Scenes: 119

Word count: 86, 281

Research books read: 9

Time it took to get from 0 to here: 15 months

I am immensely proud that I have got this far. This is the first time ever that I have completed a draft, that I have committed to a character and stuck with it to the end. I have a story, from start to finish, and that alone is an achievement for me, especially given that I do not have huge chunks of time to devote to writing. I have fitted it in the cracks and corners of my life, in between cooking lunches, taking people to dance classes and indulging in my own new exercise regime.

So now that I have a story, I have to admit it is far from perfect. Some parts are looking decidedly unattractive. And it’s about to undergo some radical plastic surgery.

In December, I followed Martha, the Plot Whisperer, as she led writers through a month-long plot planning exercise and promised myself that when I was finished, I would do her course and apply what I had learnt to my plot. I printed it out and am now working steadily through it. It’s both inspiring and practical. My next challenge is to decide which of my multiple scenes to cut, where I need to add scenes and then to arrange them on all Post-Its along a plot line. When that is complete, I can start on the second draft.

I am really looking forward to digging the scalpel in.

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

21 thoughts on “First Draft Audit

  1. <your family are proud of you…

  2. That’s really impressive!

  3. Lifting my glass of sekt and toasting you on this achievement!

  4. Congratulations! I hope to be able to say the same about a finished first draft in the not-too-distant future. We’ll see…
    And I can’t wait to hear how the cutting and editing process goes.

  5. Yay Charlotte! [cheers from the sidelines]

  6. Woo hoo! Well done Charlotte, you’re well on your way to that Pulitzer.

  7. CONGRATULATIONS! That is a huuuge achievement. And Martha the Plot Whisperer is amazing–I did a private consultation with her a few years ago, and she lit the way.

  8. Hooray, 86,000 words! That’s a huge achievement.

  9. Well done, very impressive to finish it all and be so eager and motivated to go at it again. Good luck. My book only has 23 pages so far!

  10. That is fantastic! Well done!

  11. Congratulations on getting so far. Good luck with the resolution needed to take the fine scalpel to it – I know that is the part that I would really hate, if I ever got as far as writing anything longer than an article. It’s bad enough cutting words out of an article!

  12. Oh my gosh – you FINISHED! Congratulations! This is fabulous, fabulous news! I can’t wait to write this same post – hopefully very very soon!

  13. Congratulations! You are definitely a hero to me to finish this novel in the nooks and crannies of your life. What an honor to know such a clever lady.

  14. I am so impressed, could be you will need a literary agent in the not too distant future. A dear (ex Rhodes uni) friend is such here in London. Damon Galgut (Booker short list) is one of his clients – let me know if you want name and intro; he is a lovely, lovely man. My email addy is on my blog.

  15. You should be proud – congratulations!

  16. Wonderful, wonderful, congratulations! Happy redrafting!

  17. I am so far beyond impressed, right into the realms of seriously envious. Good luck with the surgery

  18. I am so in awe of what you’ve achieved… You go girl!

  19. Pingback: The Story of My Novel So Far « Charlotte's Web

  20. Pingback: The State of the Blog « Charlotte's Web

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