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Behind the Scenes: The First Draft

In my last behind the scenes post, I described how I write out the beats of each story. Once I have the beats planned, I set up a new project in Scrivener, my writing software. I set up the margins, spacing, and font, and I make folders for at least twelve chapters.

When I start writing a first draft, I usually start at the beginning. First chapters are tough, so I know I’ll have to go back and fix that later. I aim for a minimum of 1,000 words per day, and Scrivener tracks my daily word count.

It’s hard to say exactly how many days or weeks (or months, lol) it takes for me to finish a first draft. It depends on how many words I hit each day, and if I write five or seven days per week. When I’m in the groove, it’s usually seven days per week. 

The last half of the book is always hard for me! I hate putting my characters through the dark moment near the end. Sometimes I’ll skip ahead and write the happy ending, and that helps. Once I finish the first draft, I need to let it rest for several days before I attempt a rewrite. 

In my next behind the scenes post, I’ll share how I do rewrites.