On a par with Hemmingway?
I’ve just finished the first draft of my sixth complete novel, and I have to agree with Hemmingway when he said that “The first draft of anything is shit.”
I look forward to a lot of editing over the next few months, but the first, giant step has been taken.
The first draft is the hardest. It’s where most people stumble. I have five or six other novels in various stages of progression through a first draft. But if you don’t get the first draft done, you don’t have a story. It has to have a beginning, middle and end.
The first time I showed one of the earlier drafts of Leaving the Pack (I have lost count of how many that went through, but twenty is a round number) to a friend, he said he was impressed because it had a beginning, middle and end, and that was more than he could ever do.
This draft has all three. The beginning is too long, the middle too boring and the ending didn’t turn out quite as satisfying as I’d hoped.
But it’s a draft. It’ll get better over the second, third, fourth and whatever number of versions it’ll take to get better. I don’t want to predict, since I am the (checks quickly) tenth draft of a novella that has yet to be even accepted, so that’ll easily get to fifteen before it sees the light of day, if it ever does.