Writing the first draft


I\’m currently working on the first draft of Children of Gaea. The progress is smooth. I still wish I could do dictation, that would speed it up considerably, and from time to time I can, but most of the novel is the product of my commute to work via long, boring train rides.

This here is a screenshot of yWriter, the writing software I\’m using. It gives you an idea what my draft management looks like. I won\’t show you my outline, as that would spoil the whole story, and that\’s probably not a good idea, but this small glimpse of my tools won\’t do much damage, if any at all.

The first draft of my novels is usually a very rushed version. It\’s by no means a \’more meaty outline\’, but it\’s still very lean. I\’m an underwriter. I push the plot forward with little regard to atmosphere, transitions, descriptions, etc. My characters sound pretty neutral at this stage, too, but character voice is slowly forming and gaining momentum during the process.

In this posting I\’d like to show you what I mean with the picture above this posting, and when I said that it\’s a \’very rushed version\’.

For this example, I\’m showing you an excerpt from chapter 9 of the novel. The chapter\’s work name is \’Search for the Informant\’, but that can change anytime, and the scene carries the name \’Pub\’. Scene names won\’t pop up anywhere in the finished novel, they\’re part of my workflow and irrelevant, but I thought heck, I\’ll just show you what I mean.

C still sat at the bar, busy with his drink, now talking with the bartender again, who had noticed them changing their table. He continued wiping the counter.

The table the four men had chosen had enough room for two more. The two women sat down next to each other, and the man who had led them here smiled. He seemed to feel less alarmed now, with his friends around him.

\”We didn\’t introduce ourselves yet,\” she opened the conversation.

\”Oh, I\’m sorry. D here. These are E, F and G.\”

\”I can speak for myself, cunt,\” the biggest of the four said. His pronunciation was slurry and his look glass-eyed.

\”Shut up, F. You\’re drunk.\” D turned to them with an apologizing expression on his face.

\”Ignore him,\” G added and led his glass to his lips. Nadya didn\’t know what it contained, but it was clear from the sharp smell that it was alcoholic. E looked at them out of half closed eyes. He was already half knocked out. D however was perfectly sober, and probably the most dangerous of the group. He hadn\’t lost his vigilance, his eyes left no doubt about it.

\”What do you want to drink?\” he asked.

Nadya raised her glass. It was still almost full.

\”Don\’t you want something else?\”

\”Not right now, thank you. About what we talked about earlier…\”

D cocked his head. He probably hadn\’t expected her to get to the point straight away.

\”We\’re looking for someone called Flannagan. He\’s a–\” She stopped abruptly when he pulled a gun on her.

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