What My First Draft Looks Like

Woot, woot! I finally finished the first draft of my WIP.  Here is a photo of it.  I finished it on October 23rd in the parking lot of a Home Depot.  The child had fallen asleep in her car seat and my fiance ran into the store to get a few things so out came my notebook! If you've been following my blog for any length of time then you know that I write my first drafts longhand in notebooks I carry with me everywhere.  This is due mostly to time constraints.

I actually started writing this book last Fall but then I had to stop to tend to other matters and I didn't really get back to working on it until April of this year.  I made a big push to get at least one draft down.  Get it out, get it on the page.  Do my worst.  This draft is what Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds would call a beachstorming draft.  (And if you haven't read his 250 Things You Should Know About Writing yet, you should get on over there and buy a copy.  It's only 99 cents and it's freaking awesome.)  Anyway, this draft was written completely out of order and when I say out of order, I mean that sometimes I'd break in mid-scene and start writing a scene that will eventually go earlier in the book.  I've started typing it up now and it's quite confusing!  But my goal was just to get it all out and deal with stuff like chronology later.  So it's out of order, barely legible and oh yes, filled with inspirational drawings by my daughter:


Now the REAL work begins.

This draft was like the wild, drunken party. Now I've slept off my hangover and I have to clean up my trashed house.

Anyway, here's the skinny (this is in no way any kind of pitch, I know it's rough!  But since I just went on and on about my WIP, I should at least tell you something about it.  I plan on having a polished pitch once I am finished with this next draft and have a better idea where all the puzzle pieces fit.)

So here is a short-unpolished-very-rough-just-something-to-give-you-an-idea-what-it-is-about paragraph:

A trio of men are preying on Philadelphia prostitutes, brutally assaulting and mutilating them. Police Detective Jocelyn Rush's investigation into the most recent attack unearths a series of similar assaults going back four years. She quickly tracks down two of the assailants but they refuse to give up the third suspect--the one with a penchant for mutilation. As the attacks continue, escalating in frequency and brutality, Jocelyn is desperate to find the third attacker. When a monster from her past resurfaces, offering a dubious lead in the case, she follows through on it only to find that evil lurks dangerously close to home.

I may post a chapter soon.  We'll see how it goes . . .


  1. Yay Lisa! I'm so happy for you. I remember when I finished the first draft of my book. I cried! Then I jumped up and danced around before sharing my feat with the family. Such a happy day! Of course, I didn't write it out long-handed! I don't know how you do that. Amazing! Your party analogy is perfect. I'm only at the invitation part of my own celebration. I'm so jealous! But as I've said a dozen times already, I can't wait to read all of it! Congrats Lisa. This is me doing a happy dance for you!

  2. So colorful! I love it. Congratulations!!!

  3. How very exciting Lisa!!! And it sounds like a cool thriller. I wrote my first draft on notebooks too. It's really helpful. Can't wait to read a first chapter if you post it. Happy Halloween! :) Looks like you had a color scheme going too.

  4. I love this! I admire someone who writes long hand...I can't read my own scribbles, not to mention I couldn't write fast enough to form coherent thoughts, so your drunken party reference is perfect!

    Congrats and good luck with revisions!

  5. Ooh, creepy story! Congrats on getting the first draft out. The hardest part might be coming, but it's also the fun creative part, putting some skin on those bones. :)

  6. I used to do all my first drafts longhand. I've made the switch to the computer but do miss the longhand days. Cool drawings. I'd imagine you've stolen some ideas from your daughter's drawings?

  7. Congratulations, Lisa! Take a deep breath, have a drink, and enjoy the moment. Great pitch, too.

  8. Gave you the Liebster award. Head on over to my blog for details. Nice work!

  9. Interesting that you wrote this draft by long hand. I wrote some of my short stories in a coffee shop by hand, typing them up each night (and editing them as I did).

    The what-is-it-about paragraph is great!

  10. Nancy: Thanks, I'll be counting on you as my alpha reader/critiquer to push me to make this book as awesome as I am capable of making it! Couldn't have finished it without all your constant encouragement!

    Rebecca: Thank you, thank you!!! Will be headed over to your blog soon!

    Laila: Thanks, I probably will post a chapter quite soon. Why not?

    Cassie: Thanks. Yeah, sometimes it is really hard to figure out what the heck I wrote but I try.

    L.G.: Great analogy and so true. I'll be plumping this baby right up!

    Libby: I should be stealing story ideas from my daughter, she has such a great imagination! LOL.

    JeffO: Thanks. I'm enjoying the lull before I dive back in.

    Ellis: Yes, I enjoy doing it that way! It can be kind of liberating.

  11. Wow, congratulations!!! So happy for you, this is awesome. And, the story sounds excellent, creepy and just the sort of novel I love to read. I'm looking forward to reading a chapter if you decide to post! Congratulations again, woo-hoo! :)

  12. Congratulations on finishing your draft! It sounds fantastic. I can't wait!

    By the way, your daughter's drawings are adorable. :)

  13. I love that you write longhand! I rarely do, but when I do, I write more... thoughtfully, if that makes sense. I just don't have the patience (or hand strength) to do it for a whole novel.

    And you know your book is my kind of read, all the way. :)

  14. Yay you! Don't envy you the task of transcribing all that, altho it should help w/ revisions. I type waaayyy faster than I write so I'm impressed w/ your tenacity.

  15. I love that you finished the first draft in the parking lot of Home Depot. AND that you write in long hand, in notebooks. Congratulations. It sounds amazing. Thank you for following my blog and I'm thrilled to now be following you! : )


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