A. M. Macdonald

Author and Geek Culture Emissary. Speaking the word of nerd.

First draft done!


There is no other feeling like finishing a first draft. When I finished the first draft of Dybsy back in December 2016, my elation couldn’t be contained, even during the next 4 months of savage editing.

Five minutes ago I finished the first draft of Remember the Dawn, which came in at 117,477 words over 72 scenes. If you follow me at all, you already know the book is a fantasy (epic?) involving starlight magic and magic resistant peacekeepers. I’m sure my first rounds of edits will flesh out many scenes, and likely add a few more. I foresee a final vomit draft word count approaching 130,000, which is right at the high end of the accepted fantasy word length for a debut author (I don’t think self-publishing *counts* for traditional publishers). The word count will reduce over the subsequent rounds of editing.

While browsing Reddit I came across this post: https://fictionary.co/seven-drafts-editor-allison-k-williams/. I wish I’d had this sort of information and guidance when working on Dybsy, because it seems an incredibly reasonable and useful approach. I am going to employ this process as I edit Remember the Dawn. After the final step of copyediting, I’ll start querying. There’s an open call right now with DAW, a highly prolific SFF publishes, for unagented manuscripts. I want to try to get a final draft ready to submit there.

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