13 July 2016

Things I Think About After Finishing an Initial Draft


Not that long ago I finished the first draft of my upcoming book "In the Shadow of Her Majesty". Not counting research time, the book took me nearly six months to write.

After I type out the last few words, I sigh a deep breath of relief, and then I can't help but think to myself:

I can't believe I finished!

While I was in the midst of writing, I couldn't help but feel a sort of mid-book panic, and I asked myself: Where is this story going? How will I finish it? Is the plot strong enough to keep the readers' attention? 

I suppose second-guessing yourself while writing is not an unusual occurrence, and I feel that way every time I put words on paper (or in most cases on a computer screen). So, it is with great relieve and satisfaction when I somehow manage to finish my manuscript without too much trouble.

Time to take a break!

As I have already mentioned in my last post, after finishing the initial draft, I find it helpful to gain some distance by setting the manuscript aside for a while. When I finally begin my first round of editing, I can do so more objectively. 

It's such a relief! 

It's exhilarating to write an initial draft, to dream about the characters, their lives and the way the story might unfold. This phase of the creative process can be quite taxing, and can take up a lot of my time. But, after the emotional and physical drain begins to subside, it is replaced by a great sense of accomplishment. 

Thank goodness there's an editing process!

While we would like to believe that there's no way our writings need editing, we all know that they all need it, whether we like it or not. As a matter of fact, my upcoming book will undergo many rounds of self-editing, before any editor gets to put their hands on it. No matter how many books I write, I would never skip the editing process, and although it can be grueling at times, I am thankful for the feedback, which can only make my books better. 

Don't get too attached!

I just created this fantastic piece, but I know I really shouldn't get too attached. They are just words jumbled together in sentences and paragraphs, which I hope make sense to readers. But as much as I might love what I wrote, I need to go back through the entire book and eliminate what doesn't work. 

As I have mentioned in my last post, in order to make this process seem less of a loss, I cut and paste my deleted items into a blank document for future reference. Waste not, want not! 

Hopefully, people will read it!

I love to write stories I enjoy. Otherwise, why bother?

Of course, different people read my books with different expectations, but I've learned long ago that I can't please everyone. And so, I shall continue to write what I love, with the hope that my writings will bring joy to some of my readers, and provide others with the information they seek. I can't help but wonder, which parts of my book will or won't please readers.  

So, what about you? How do you feel after you've finished writing an initial draft? I'd love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed the post, then maybe you'll like this:

by A. Piper Burgi

Piper is the author of military lifestyle books and RV travel journals. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+.


  1. Great post! I, too, keep deleted material and use for future books. Thanks for the pointers!

  2. You're welcome, K.D. Upton! Glad to hear I'm not the only one who does that. =)

  3. ...I do it too, sometimes those 'cuts' can be used in another book, or just shared with followers in our Newsletter r whatever. Sometimes they just sit there, but who knows, they may find a use one day. I enjoyed your post and agree, self editing is not only essential, but I find it really enjoyable.

    1. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the post, Hywela Lyn! I like your idea of utilizing extraneous material in a newsletter. =)

  4. My "parking lot" is full of deleted scenes, and my "past drafts" folder contains every edited draft in a separate file.

    1. Wow...that sounds like a lot of material, Betsy Ashton. I do hope that you back up your files frequently! =)

  5. Good stuff, Piper. Thank you.

  6. Just finishing reading a book by Walter Mosley about writing your first novel. So much of what he has to say reflects what you say here. Nice to have a bit of confirmation. Just thought I'd send it your way.

    I, myself, write extensively, exhaustively, but still have yet to begin the novel. Waiting for a moment, not of inspiration, but a situation that allows me to write continually... this has to do with housing, and I only have 5 more days to go...

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. You're welcome, Annette, and Happy Writing! =)