Actually, the title is misleading. I fell short of my personal Day 1 goal of 2,700 words. That’s what I need to average per day to complete over 80,000 words. I know NaNoWriMo is only 50K words, but I’m wanting to complete a full first draft, so I would need to shoot for the 80K.
But I’ve come to realize that I’m not going to be getting a full, first draft. I’m going to be getting a rough draft. The difference to me is the completeness of the text. The rough draft gets the general concept and shape down with all of the plot points and raw characters. It’s like the initial shape of a piece of carved sculpting. There’s a big block with the essential outline. You can basically tell it’s suppose to be a mammal as opposed to a tree or a house, maybe you can distinguish it’s a bird and not a cat. But the details aren’t there and there’s no distinct style.
A first draft, to me, is more like those wonderful unfinished sculptures of the captive slaves by Michelangelo. There is still an enormous amount of work to do even before the polishing, but the beauty is already evident. You can see the character, the theme is clear and some of the work is already something you’re proud to show others.
I can tell that I’m going to be doing a rough draft and then returning to create greater details. It’s hard for me to do this. I keep wanting to go back and work on improving the previous writing so that it becomes more beautiful at the beginning and rougher as I progress — like Michelangelo’s sculpture.
Unfortunately, I know I won’t finish my work either.
I’ve failed to complete my previous novels because I’ve become bogged down in the middle when I realize that I’ve made a structural mistake that would require major revision either in the plot or the characters. And so, like a piece of sculpture where the artist carved too deeply, too soon, the works are abandoned, with luck to be recycled.
I don’t want that to happen this time. So I’m forcing myself to keep moving forward and leaving myself notes about what revisions I think will be necessary. I may leave some of the notes on this site.
It would be nice, I think, if authors left their revision notes about. They used to in the days when first drafts couldn’t be simply dragged-and-dropped. But then again, there’s always Carlyle’s manuscript and the maid…
Okay, enough. To work.