An Aspiring Writer's Blog Site

Rough Draft for The Gideon Plan Finished

I’m calling it. The Gideon Plan is now officially a rough draft. Admittedly, I’m not 100% happy as to where I stand with what I have so far, but I feel its time to move the novel to the next step of its journey. I’ve been itching to go to a full on First Draft for some time now and also, I feel the writing has stalled a little bit and its because I need to proceed to a higher level.

So what is a Rough Draft? I guess it depends on which author you talk to, but this is my criteria.

Dan’s Rough Draft Criteria

1. There is a skeleton of the story from start to finish

2. 60% of the story is written (though it may need to be edited)

3. Structure or outline for all major scenes have been written

4. All major characters are represented

The Gideon Plan pretty much meets these criteria. The one exception may be the third bullet. The climax of the story and the part of the story when things begin to take a turn for the worst are only in rudimentary form. However, I don’t want these to hold me back. Its go time.

So, what’s next? Here’s my game plan.

Steps for a Finished First Draft

1. Put the scenes in order of appearance.
2. Identify what time of the Civil War the scenes take place.
3. Identify missing scenes.
4. Estimate how long to finish first draft.
5. Complete the scenes that are in burst form.
6. Write missing scenes in a burst form then complete them.
7. Identify how the story should be segmented (chapters, individual scenes, cliff hangers, etc.)
8. Personal proofread.
9. Leave the story for two weeks then proofread again.
10. Submit story to readers for review.

OK, I’m a little nervous. This is a big commitment and telling everyone you are going to do it kind of puts me on a bulls-eye for disappointment, but hey, this is all fun for me.

For my writer friends out there—I’m curious as to when you consider your story rough draft ready and how it compares to my criteria. When do you know its time to bring your story to the next level?

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2 responses

  1. Cat

    I like this. Very ballsy to declare you’ve got your first draft. In repsonse I’m going to try and use your criteria as a benchmark for my own first drafts….even though I don’t officially have any first drafts for my novel(s) right now. But when I do, I’ll know it from your description above!
    Well done for getting this far and for planning out your action from here on it – can’t wait to hear how it goes!

    June 14, 2012 at 6:50 am

    • Thanks, Cat. I’m honored you are looking at my criteria! I’m still learning things as I go along too. I’ve already finished one story, but didn’t keep a good track of my process as I should have. This time, I’m being more systematic in my approach.

      Heh. Looks like I’m going to have to change my criteria a little. I said for a rough draft, 60% of the story was written. Nope. I just finished crunching some numbers. I’ve written @ 170 pages so far. I got @ 270 more to go! I couldn’t believe how off I was. Regardless, I still have a pretty good rough draft to build on and I’m moving forward. Thanks for the encouragement and stopping by!

      June 15, 2012 at 1:38 am

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