The 10 Stages of Finishing the First Draft

Yesterday I finished the first draft of a children’s book that I have been writing for well over a year! Technically, this is ‘draft 11’ but every time I’ve got to the final few chapters I’ve freaked out and started all over again. But this time, I can finally present my first complete draft. Hurrah! I have been waiting for this moment for months, just imagining how it would feel. However, when it finally came, it was not what I expected…


I finished! I finished! This is the best thing ever!

2. Emotional
I can’t believe it’s over… This is the biggest milestone I’ve ever reached.

3. Extreme spontaneity
I’m getting a tattoo to commemorate this moment! FACE TATTOO!!!

4. Sharing
*Texts everyone, including people who didn’t know I was writing a book, to tell them I’ve finished*

5. Cockiness
I am officially a writer now. I’m getting business cards, RIGHT NOW!

6. Lost
What am I going to do/think about/talk about all day now?

7. Forgetfulness
How did this take me so long? It was so easy. I’m going to start another book and finish it in a week!

8. Positivity
I can’t wait to send this to publishers, I’m going to read it from the beginning.

9. Humiliation
Oh my god, this is terrible… No one can ever see this.

10. Realisation
So. Much editing. To. Do…

Now can someone tell me it’s all going to be okay when I start editing, please???

13 thoughts on “The 10 Stages of Finishing the First Draft

  1. I am going to tell you its going to be okay for the selfish reason that I plan to be in the same position in the nearish future.

  2. It would be ace – although difficult and possibly painful – to get it read by someone well-disposed but independent who understands editing at this 1st draft stage. Apart from typos, you might be too close to it. I’m thinking of Proust (why not?) who never had an editor, endlessly re-wrote his text, and ended up with characters taking part in conversations when he’d already described them leaving on journeys, etc etc… D X

    1. Good point! I’m thinking of doing one more draft (just neaten ong what I can) and then getting some help, from a child preferably! They are my target audience and the harshest critics, after all.x

  3. I have been there before lol. You will be fine with the editing. if you are starting to get stressed with the process, take a break and work on something else. Each time you think you have finished, take a break and go back to it at a later date. You will find more mistakes. :) I print it off to edit with double line spaces for all my notes. I use Natural Reader where a robot reads it out for me. I use an editing program such as Grammarly.I read it aloud myself. I also use my partner as an alpha reader once I have worked on sentence structure and punctuation (Around about draft three). My beta readers get it when I am sure I have finished – This is when I have read it and not wanted to change one thing. Good luck and enjoy the challenge. If you don’t let the fear swallow you, you will likely find that you enjoy yourself. :)

    1. Thank you so much for the supportive advice Lyneal! Lots of things to think abou theree :) But it is absolutely possible which is nice to hear. I will try my best to enjoy it rathr than dread it!

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