Okay guys, so today you are in for a doozy of a post. You have been warned.
The last time I posted here was… The end of March, I believe? And though I’ve been quiet on here, that DOES NOT mean that I haven’t been writing—far from it. Last time I checked in I was halfway through the first draft of book one (which I have now named ‘SP1’ in my head, so I’ll be calling it that from now on).
As of today, August 9th, SP1 is currently sitting pretty at it’s full 2nd draft, and I’m in the middle of writing book 2 from the same series (SP2—see what I did there?).
Wanna see a breakdown of how I got there over the past four months? No? Well tough, because that’s what this post is for!
So, let’s head back to the start of April…
As I’m sure you know, April was Camp NaNo, and I set a goal for myself of finishing the first draft of SP1, which I am happy to say that I achieved! Draft 1 was finished at 77k words (about 38k of that was written in April). Woo!
My initial goal(s) for May was to leave SP1 to rest while I worked on outlining SP2 and also playing about with a plot bunny I had running rampant in my mind for a completely different story.
As it turned out, I only managed to leave SP1 for a grand total of 6 days (I know, I know…) before I got sucked back in.
In those 6 days I outlined the WHOLE of book 2, and realised that there were a lot of things I needed to add/reference/change about book 1 for some of the ideas I had planned in the second book to make sense.
I did a very quick read through of SP1, (and noticed that among all those plot things the pacing also felt REALLY off), re-worked the outline and went straight into writing the second draft for this story.
Book 1, I now realise, was a very, very rough draft—basically a zero-draft—and I added a whole lot to it during revisions. Act 1 originally was only 12.5k words. It is now sitting at about 30k, and this fixed a lot of the pacing issues I had with the beginning.
During the time from 6th-31st May, draft 2 of SP1 was up to 50k.
Surprise, surprise, my goal for June was to keep trucking along with draft 2 of SP1, with the hopes of finishing up this draft before July’s Camp NaNo began.
This goal I didn’t quite hit… Where the first half of this draft consisted mostly of just adding new stuff, the second half in comparison was a lot of re-working what I had already written the first time around, tidying up a lot of weird stuff that didn’t make sense, and changing stuff around to work with the new ending I’d outlined. Somehow this was harder than just drafting fresh words—go figure.
I ended up June with a word count of 39k, bringing the total for draft 2 to 89k, and still having the climax of the story to write.
My initial goal for July’s Camp NaNo—to start drafting book 2—was thwarted by my inability to finish SP1’s 2nd draft in time, so I had to have a bit of a re-jig.
My goal was to finish SP1 draft 2, then leave it alone and start working on SP2 for the rest of the month, with a total word count goal of 50k.
I managed to finish SP1 within the first week or so, adding 15k words, leaving draft 2 at a whopping 104k. Welp.
Then finally—finally—I was able to start writing book 2! Which I had outlined 2 months prior… Haha. But I got there eventually!
I wrote 35k of SP2 and managed to win Camp by hitting 50k for the month, which I am beyond happy about!
And that brings us to the here and now! Sorry if all that word vomit was boring (or confusing…), but it had to be done, I’m afraid.
Plans and goals for August
So I have two main writing goals for this month.
First, I want to keep drafting SP2, with the hopes of finishing the first draft of it by the end of September. I’m planning to write around 1000 words a day, to get my draft up to 65/70k-ish for August.
As well as this, I want to (tentatively) start getting back to book 1. To get this ball rolling, this month I plan to:
– Print the full second draft (around 300-some pages of A4)
– Read through my story, as a reader and not the author
– Make notes as I go of any general, big-picture things that need to be changed
– Make a plan for how I want to go about writing the third draft
– Look into Beta-readers
Now I might not get all of this done this month, and I’m still unsure about when I want to start writing SP1 draft 3. I don’t think I’ll be able to write SP1 and SP2 at the same time, because my characters are in such different places over the two books that I can see this getting messy and jumbled and I think it’ll do more harm than good (but if you’ve done this before and it’s worked well, please let me know in the comments down below).
So I’m torn between working on SP1 and SP2. I reeeeeally want to get back to book 1, to get it to a place where I can start sending it out to Beta’s and move forward with getting it finished, but I also don’t really want to stop writing the second book halfway through, because I feel like it’ll mess with my flow and pacing and train-of-thought in terms of that story…
I don’t know, man. I guess it doesn’t really matter right now. That’s an issue for September, not August.
I’m not really sure where the hell I’m going with this.
Anyway! That’s all I have for you right now. I’m planning to do a post soon (ish) about my experience with draft 1 vs draft 2 for SP1, the things I’ve learnt from it and how it went a little more in-depth. But until then, I guess I should get writing!
Don’t forget to follow me over on Instagram and Twitter @ReadWriteLouise for daily updates if you’re interested!