Zero to One Draft: Take One. Or Zero.

This song shuffled up this morning. It’s appropriate not only because of content and also because, like the Monkees on the album cover, I, too, am wearing a turtleneck today.

I’m somewhere between Zero draft and First Draft and need to do some sort of work that “rewrite” doesn’t quite cover. “First Aid” feels closer to the truth. “Excorcism” is probably most accurate.

Zero Draft is five hundred page. Ridiculous.

But not terrible.

I skimmed the whole thing over last week so I could retro-outline what I have, find the potholes and the pits of quicksand and address them.

I procrastinated a bit because I was worried it was, upon rereading, going to be awful.

It wasn’t.

Oh, there is work to do. Fix the plot, sharpen the conflicts and the wants and needs, and there’s a character I left on page twenty who should probably be rescued from her limbo because she’s been holding the same pen and clipboard for a long time now. I’m rolling up my sleeves and doing the emergency repairs and then the next go around will be a deeper look at craft and execution. After that? Probably making sure I have no “your/you’re” errors.

I hope to be able to give a draft to a beta reader on August 31.

The hardest thing about writing a first book is that I have to have a lot of procedural trip wires – is this working best or not? Am I doing this because I don’t know better? Because I’ve imposed an artificial deadline? Because this is how Stephen King does it? Is it working and I’m just procrastinating/stuck? 

…and also knowing that what works/doesn’t work may or may not apply to future projects. All I’m learning right now is how to write this particular book.

 However, I think it’s fair to say that for all writing now and in the future, what works is a general plan of :

Breathe. Expand. Wrangle. Improve.

BEWI away!


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