Finished The First Draft Of My First Novel

by Shelt Garner

After about four or so years of hard work, I’ve finally finished the first draft of a novel that won’t embarrass me. It’s not perfect — it has elements of a “vomit draft,” but it’s done.

Now, to pause working on it for about a month and throw myself into read and development of the other four books in the five book project. One of my biggest problems is word count. This first draft is within the 80,000 – 120,000 sweet spot at ~117,000 words, but it risks ballooning into something twice that if I don’t monitor my word count very, very carefully with the second draft.

I say this because I have way too many scenes. If I flesh out characters the way they need to be for a proper second draft, then the individual scenes are going to get a lot longer.

The only thing I can think of is to both compress the number of scenes and to re-imagine some of the novel so it stays between 80,000 and 120,000 words. I don’t think I’m going to have to change things on a structural basis too much. I think, if I’m lucky, I can just cruise through the outline I did for the first draft, tweaking and compressing things as I go.

That’s the hope, at least.

Anyway. I have a huge amount of reading to do. And now I can start working on the other five novels without as much guilt. I hope to turn my attention back to the first novel around late June.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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