A Draft In The Bag

I started a novel close to three years ago. I wrote an additional fifty-thousand words of it for NaNoWriMo 2015. One of my goals for January was to finish the draft, no matter how terrible. And then a surprising thing happened.

I did it.


Clocking in at 85,115 words, a couple of weeks ago I finished a really rough, really terrible, draft. The word choices are often questionable, the characters change names two or three times in some cases, and I think I need a lesson in how time usually works.  The important part about finishing it though is this: I finished it. I wrote all those words in to kind of sentences in something that resembles english, with a beginning, middle and end to the entire shebang. Holy crap.


I had originally been intending on putting the manuscript away for a bit now that its done, let it marinate, get some emotional distance (there are some major themes in the story that relate to coming to terms with abuse, so that got pretty intense while I was writing it), but as I’ve tried to do that over the last couple of weeks, I’ve started finding myself filling in plot holes and problems in my head while I’m at work, or in the shower, or having tea, and now I’m considering pulling it up and starting work on the editing/rewriting process as kind of a side to my other things that I have coming up.


If you’ve ever finished off a manuscript like this, what do you think? Let it marinade? Go ahead and jump in? I am very interested in hearing opinions.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. jamiestew4 says:

    Interesting read! I’m in a not so similar position. I’ve just hit the 22k mark and I’m aiming for around 80k. I’d like to think that I would jump straight back in and give it an edit, but I’m not sure I’ll have the faculty to, or even want to by the time a first draft is ready.


    1. Zoë Mikel-Stites says:

      Good luck with the rest of it! The rough draft is definitely exhausting, but worth it obviously. I’m deciding if I have the faculties to be able to just jump straight back in.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. anag7 says:

    Congrats on finishing your first draft! It’s a great feeling isn’t it? I’d suggest moving right in when you feel you’re ready. Sometimes waiting too long takes away your motivation. If you’re feeling it now, then go for it.


    1. Zoë Mikel-Stites says:

      It feels amazing, and at the same time like there’s this little hole in my brain that the novel had been filling up lol I think I might be jumping straight to it. Thanks for the advice!

      Liked by 1 person

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