Where did all the words go..?

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If you’ve read my last post you’ll recall that I finished the first draft of my novel last week.
This week I finished typing it up and looked at the word count…
Where did all those words go?

What I don’t know yet is whether this is my style, and that could mean shorter novels or more likely short first drafts that expand into detail with the second draft. Or, should I have spent more time on the first draft?

There have been times when it has felt like a race. A need to get the story out of my head and onto paper. Then, when I can see its full shape I can start to play with the boundaries, to pull here and push there.

But there has also been a need to produce something. To show that I’m not just messing around here.

Does anyone else do this?
Other writers always seem to talk about how much they write, about needing to cut out huge chunks or split their enormous manuscript into a trilogy.
Is writing small amounts something that will change with practice? Is it a matter of style? After all, I’m well aware that the first draft is, in some ways, just the start of the journey and I’m keen to get on with the next part.

I guess only time will tell. Catch up with me this time next year and I’ll let you know how it went!

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10 Responses to Where did all the words go..?

  1. Donna McDine says:

    I too have the same writing style as you. I always write my first draft long hand away from the computer (less distractions) then type it up. What seems like a “ton” of words ends up being “half” of what I thought I wrote. Frustrating! I’m in the adding to and editing stages with the goal of at least another 15-20,000 words. Ugh! Don’t like how those numbers look. Good luck!

    Best regards,
    Award-winning Children’s Author
    Ignite Curiosity in your child through reading!
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  2. Patsy says:

    Some write long and cut, some write short and expand. I don’t think it matters too much which method you adopt as long as it works for you.


  3. Kirsten says:

    I think this is definitely a style thing. A lot of writers say they start with a spare draft and fill it in during revision. They maintain that it’s preferable to work that way because there is less material to wade through in the edits. So you’re in great shape!
    However, I don’t think writers have all that much control over what the first draft ends up like. I happen to write very,very ‘fat’ and fill in all the details as I go, but I totally understand the feeling of the story racing to get onto the page! I’m learning to type faster. 🙂


    • Angela says:

      Thanks Kirsten,I like the sound of the ‘spare draft’ – makes it all sound a bit more premeditated. (I guess all the other words I wrote must have been the conversations with myself on how the scenes were going to work)


  4. I think that first drafts are normally like that. I think that if you let it sit for awhile, you’ll be able to go back to it and see parts that need to be expanded. Or, maybe you wrote a novella. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I see many of them on Goodreads and Amazon (and readers don’t seem to mind). Anyway, best of luck to you:)


  5. Juneta says:

    I think the important thing for the first draft is get the story told and everything else comes later, even deciding the length. Proud of you, You GO!!!


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