First draft finished finally

by SJ Griffin

I’m blogging monthly now. That’s it. I can’t cope with the blame and recrimination any longer. I can manage once a month. Let’s shake hands on it, gentle reader. Not spitting on palms first though. That is disgusting. Let’s do a really complicated handshake that goes on for forty seconds and ends up with two dislocated fingers and a Chinese burn.

Done. Nice.

What I wish to announce in my official February communiqué is this: I’ve finished the first draft of my still untitled new book. More handshakes? Why certainly.

This has been a different experience from writing the Vanguard Trilogy. That’s mostly because when I started I didn’t have the narrator’s voice clear in my head. What? Am I mad? I started writing without a fundamental building block in place? Yes, I am and yes, did. And if I hadn’t I would still be sitting around now with my ear cocked to the sky waiting for her voice to drop into my ear. Sometimes you just got to leap in. Learning by doing. Arrive by travelling.

I haven’t read anything back yet, I’m on my two week break from it, but I know without looking that the first half is terrible. All over the place. The second half is a bit better but the rhythm of the sentences are all the wrong way round. Staccato in the wrong places. But by the last couple of chapters she starts to sound right. Like she ought to.

I also know that there are scenes that need cutting and more scenes missing. There are plot developments that appear out of nowhere. I’m fairly sure that I keep changing some characters’ names throughout. At least they have names though. There’s a policeman called ‘Sergeant X’, a pub called the ’xxxxonthecanalxxx’ and boat with the mystery name ‘xxxxxx’. The stuff of genius, that.

Doesn’t matter. Not now. No one’s going to read it. And I think this is what first drafts are all about. See if the story has legs. See if you stay interested in it because if you don’t a reader won’t. See if. Just see.