Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh, thank goodness.

Finished First Draft Badge
from Merit Badger's badges for writers and readers

I finally finished my edits to a short story that I adore. In some ways it's a first draft, because it's the first version that didn't have actual story gaps in it. In other ways, it's almost a final draft, because I almost never write anything straight through. When I write longer pieces (more than 1K words), I pretty consistently end up at some point with a draft that is 85-95% complete, mostly revised and edited, but still missing some connecting scenes that would get the reader from Important Plot Point A to Important Plot Point B. This is apparently my style.

So, once these last scenes finally make it into the draft (in this case, saved Version #4), I'm actually, well, done. Those scenes are freshly written, but they've been mulled over for quite a while, and they're of a pretty reasonable quality to begin with. But I'm making sure to leave it alone for at least a few days just in case. I'll let it settle, try to forget about it, get beta readings from the two writers who were with me when the idea for this short story was inspired, and THEN do a final polish before submitting. And then I will have earned this badge:

The Finished Final Draft Badge.

I can't tell you how glad I am to have this done. This is the same short story I was telling you about when discussing methods of editing, and it's also the one that was inspired by my Monsters & Mayhem class at Grub Street back in Jan-Feb-March of this year. That's long enough to be working on a 7K-word story.

Seven thousand words! Most of my short stories are fewer than 1,500 words. Have I mentioned how thrilled I am to have this written?



  1. Congrats and woo hoo!

    I just finished SEND, my YA project. I swear, I feel almost as giddy as I did having my sons!

  2. I love that you adore the short story. Well done! Stories you love are always the best.

  3. Ah--that's awesome. It's SUCH a great feeling. (Also, I'm super impressed by anyone who writes a short story and has it stay a short story. Mine always turn into books. Apparently I'm incapable of being concise!) :)

  4. LOVE the first draft badge. Congrats on finishing that story.

    This week I finished the first draft of a novel I've been working on for nearly a year. The following night, I had a nightmare that the book had been published AS IS. Plot holes, typos and all. Humiliation! Now I'm editing like mad.

  5. I love those little buttons. I'm almost done my billionth edit (maybe an exaggeration) and want that THE END badge.


  6. Congrats! Way to earn those buttons. :)
    I earned a few a couple months ago, but right now I need a button that says "waiting" while I wait to hear from agents.

  7. I was stuck in my WIP, didn't know where the story should go, despite having a rough idea when I started writing it. I decided to write scenes that tell the story before my story began, and that has really helped. Still don't know exactly where the story in current time is going to end up next, but at least the characters have more experiences under their belt for me to play with.

  8. I finished my blog post for tomorrow (Friday). Next week I celebrate 1 year of daily blogging. After that I'm going to do like you did and cut back. The blogging is fun, but it takes up time that I should be spending on writing for submission.

    I've missed your visits to my blog, Carrie!

    Tossing It Out

  9. Hooray! Finishing first drafts, second drafts, any drafts is always a marvelous feeling of accomplishment. I'm just finishing up another round of edits on my upcoming fantasy Dreamers. It's finally starting to look the way it should, and I'm happy tap-dancing all over the house.

  10. Congratulations! I know that feeling. I like to print the story and carry it around in my bag so it stays near me while I'm ignoring it.

    Right now I've earned two WAITING buttons and one RE-RE-RE-REVISED button--also four TRUE FRIEND buttons for the people who inspired the RE-'s.

    Like yours, this is my first full-length, edited-on-the-wall, and now soon-to-be-submitted story. Yay for us!

  11. Congrats on the draft completion, good lady! I haven't finished a short story longer than 5k myself. I have one getting up there that I'd like to get back to, but sheesh! So many other projects clamoring for attention.

    And a recent accomplishment? I broke 10k on a project for the first time ever a week or two ago. I sprained my arm patting myself on the back.