Monday, October 10, 2011

Top Ten Reasons You Know Your First Draft is Done

On Friday I finished the first draft of my sequel to Screwing Up Time. (Confetti and cheers.) Though, of course, after I wrote the final word, I thought, “Oh, dear, maybe it’s not really done. Maybe my readers will be disappointed. Or, maybe I’ve written too much and over-gilded the lily.

I figured that other writers must have the same problem. And while I can’t read your manuscript and tell you if it’s done, I think there are outside factors that may strongly indicate when a first draft is complete. So I’ve come up with a checklist.

 “How to Know When Your First Draft is Complete.”

1. Your beautiful flower garden is now being considered for a filming of Tarzan.

2. Your pile of ironing has collected dust.

3. You look in the mirror and discover your eyebrows resemble hedgerows—and the eighties look is not in. (Why can’t that come back?)

4. You’ve emailed your latest WIP (work-in-progress) to yourself, at least two hundred times—after all, you never know when your computer will die.  (BTW, in the old days, writers used to store hard copies in the freezer.)

5. The printed letters on your computer keyboard have worn off. My space bar is actually “grooved.”

6. When your children need you, they IM you.

7. You are adept at writing while cooking, which explains the spaghetti sauce smears across the laptop screen.

8. Your dog throws her water bowl into your lap.

9. Your refrigerator has Tupperware cartons of leftovers that are unrecognizable and move under their own power.

10. Your husband bites your neck and complains that he’s a book widower.


  1. That's hilarious! I can definitely relate. :)

  2. "The groved spacebar" - sounds like the title for a fun short story! oh and the children IMing for attention - that got a nice Monday morning chuckle out of me :)

  3. LOL, these are great! Congrats on finishing the sequel draft!

  4. Okay, #9 made me snort out loud. I hear you on most of this list, Connie. Too funny!

  5. Sadly, I'm not a writer, but most of the list still fits. -sigh- (No dog, so at least I'm not guilty of #8.)

  6. What a great list. Congrats on finishing your first draft. Now the fun begins. Editing. (ugh) Better feed the dog before you start.

  7. They were great!!! I especially laughed at 4 and 6!!

  8. Ha! So true--especially those oft-used keyboard letters!

  9. LOL - a groovy space bar. :)

    But seriously, congrats on finishing your draft.

  10. Great list! And congrats on finishing the first draft of a sequel. I'm going to finish mine for (adapted)Nano. It is scarier than finishing the first book, because now everyone will compare this second book with the first. Didn't have that pressure then.