The First Draft underway

I finished the Random House Creative Writing course at the end of November 2015. From it I had around 22 500-word pieces and a short story, all featuring my two main characters, Barclay and Claire. These pieces would be the starting point for a novel, the story of Claire’s fall from grace after meeting the enigmatic Barclay and being dragged into his nasty, sordid world. Although I had an ending to the story in mind I didn’t at that stage worry about how the characters would get there as I wanted to see where the story went as I learned how to write - I didn’t want to just be joining the dots each day as that would be boring and routine.
I mapped out the pieces I had from on the wall and identified where I needed to add scenes, characters and storylines for my initial draft. Anything used from the course would need expanding or rewriting but I felt I already had the bare bones of a half-decent story.
I was working four days a week, writing in the morning and spending the afternoon revising and planning the next day’s work. My initial plan was to get a completed first draft of around 200 pages by Easter, with an expectation that the final draft would be around 300 pages and I’d publish that by the end of 2016. On a good day I’d get between five and ten pages down that I was reasonably happy with. On a bad day I’d write, re-write, lose all my confidence and go to bed wondering if Time Inc. had any openings I could apply for.
Fortunately the bad days were easily outnumbered by the good, and by Christmas I was about halfway there, just a few pages short of the page 100 milestone.

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