I took the week off (most of the week – I have a budget meeting on Thursday) to work on finishing a first full draft. It was a fairly lofty goal given that I’m trying to squeeze in the rest of life during this period. I’m not sure I’ll quite hit the end of a full first draft by Sunday evening next week, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility either. Here’s what I’ve accomplished so far since Friday night:

  • Finished the third re-write of chapter 10, which is much better now.
  • Rewrote chapter 17 to fit changes in plot better (this was actually a pretty major rewrite)
  • Wrote chapter 18 – this rounds out a major sub-plot with a brother.
  • Started chapter 19 – I have 1000 words written as of right now.

All of the work I’ve completed above is not in what I would call a polished format, it’s very much draft. Chapter 17 still needs some major work, but I’m going to save it until I go back through the book again. The issues are largely related to character development and I want to try and address all of those problems in one or two passes. Chapter 18 is very short, and will probably need more detail, but it’s plenty good for a first draft, and chapter 10 still needs a considerable amount of polishing. My target, right now, is 21 chapters, meaning I’ve got to finish up 19, with two more to follow (this alone is likely to be 10K-12K words). I haven’t ruled out the possibility of inserting as much as a chapters worth of material earlier in the book to explore some character elements a bit more.

If you’ve read to this point, I suppose you’re wondering what the milestone was, after all I didn’t finish the book or anything. Well, the original target was 80K words. With the start of Chapter 19, I’ve hit that mark. Given the direction I want to go, and the additions I know I need to make, the new target is looking more like 90-100K words.