My Writing Journey #13: Finishing The First Draft

My Writing Journey #13: Finishing The First Draft

So, it’s finally happened. I’ve finished the first draft of my collection of flash fiction. It’s taken almost a year (about 8 months), but I decided that it was finally time to finish up the first draft so that I can get into editing the stories I’ve written so far. The tricky thing about creating a collection of short fiction is that you can go on writing stories for as long as you want. It’s not like a traditional novel with a beginning, middle, and end— every story is bite sized and easily digestible so that you can create as many as you think are enough.

I initially wanted my book to be around 50,000 words, but I realized that just isn’t very realistic when you have to come up with new stories in order to fill those pages. So, instead I settled on 20,000 because it’s enough to keep readers engaged, but not so much that it feels like a never ending project. After I hit my word count I decided to order a proof copy of my book on KDP (where I plan to self-publish this year) in order to see the size of it and edit from a physical copy rather than from a computer screen. I find that it’s harder to spot errors on a screen than it is on actual paper and I want to be sure that I haven’t left any avoidable mistakes in the manuscript before I send it to my beta readers and then to a copy editor.

I received my proof copy on April 2nd, but since then haven’t really sat down to start editing. I feel like I need a bit of a break before diving back into my stories and tweaking them. I’m also going through a few work transitions and don’t have the time to dedicated only to my book, so as of now it’s sitting on my nightstand, waiting. It’s taken a bit of time, but I’ve finally finished the first steps of this project and am excited to continue on into the next phase of self-publishing.

What I Still Need To Do:

  • Edit the grammar and layout of the first draft

  • Send the edited manuscript to beta readers

  • Do more edits after getting beta reader feedback

  • Send new edited manuscript to a copy editor

  • Have one more read through of the manuscript

  • Create a book cover

  • Decide on a publishing date

It stills seems like a long way to go before it’s ready to be sold on Amazon, but with the time and patience I’m preparing to put into it I know it’ll be worth it once it’s all done.