Tag Archives: first draft

What I’ve Done This Week #41…

I used to print out my stories as I finished them but somewhere along the line I stopped, and as a result the only hard copies I have of my work exists in the magazines and books that I have via their publication.

At least, that was until this week…

I decided that I wanted to have everything there in front of me, filed away on paper. Yeah, it’s a little old fashioned, but there is something satisfying about stories on the page, as opposed to double-clicking a word document. It also means I don’t have to boot up my laptop to look at something I’ve written.

So, I bought a couple of ink cartridges, a heap of plastic pockets, a few lever-arch ring binders, and a shit-ton of paper, and started the process.

And it’s a long process.

I am working back in time and have gone through two cartridges of ink already, which has only got me the last seven years of work… so I’m going to need another trip to the supermarket soon.

But it’s nice to have a physical record of what I’ve been doing. On that note, I discovered that I was missing a first draft of a story I wrote in 2013. Can’t find it anywhere. Fortunately, I have the redraft stored (and now printed), so all was not lost.

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What I’ve Done This Week #26…

I got it into my head these last few days that I really should back up my stories on a disc, because if my laptop takes a swan dive I will have lost most of what I’ve done over the last quarter of a century. And that… well, let’s not think about it.

Sure, I have some of them printed out, and most of them are sitting in a folder in my Hotmail account, but most is not good enough. I wanted everything all together. I don’t want anything to be lost because I was too lazy to do anything about it.

After having an extremely hard time with blank discs that my laptop struggled to read, I zipped it all and sent myself an email. I also uploaded everything to one of those clouds for extra insurance.

Every draft of every short story. The novel, in all its iterations. The poetry. All the stuff in progress.

Quite simply, it’s everything I have: my life’s work packed up in about ten megabytes.

That’s a scary thought.

Keep On Keepin’ On…

I’ve passed 70,000 words of my current pass at Slipwater, and I’m now at the point where most of what remains is going to have to be completely rewritten. Actually, I should be honest: it’s all going to have to be rewritten. Why? Because…

The-first-draft

Although I have messed around with the first two thirds of the story many times over the years – and I’m very happy with where it is now – the final stretch was only ever done once. In 1997. Well, I didn’t know anything in 1997. Hell, I was still a virgin in 1997. But more appropriately, some of the stuff I wrote was terrible in 1997. Okay, yes, some of the stuff I write in 2017 isn’t much better, but baby steps.

However, there are a couple of encouraging lights in the darkness. Firstly, I have an outline and a very good idea of where the story heads from this point onwards. And secondly, the novel is probably going to top out at just shy of 90,000 words, so there isn’t too much further to go.

Oh, and thirdly, this time I’m not stopping until:

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