Tag Archives: rugby book


A new draft of the rugby book

So, last year, I wrote the first draft of a novel about a teenage rugby player. Then it languished for a while, because I realised I was telling the wrong story and I couldn’t figure out what the right one was.

Well, guess what? It’s rugby season again. What better time to have a spectacular idea and write a new version?

I figured out the new approach and this draft just poured out of me. I really like it. I like the character’s arc, and I particularly like the way his relationship with his mother has changed. (She was such a clichéd villain in the old version. She’s much more complicated now.)

I’ve also changed the working title. But that’s a secret for now. 😛

But for interest’s sake. Here are my stats. I peaked at 3,605 words in a day. And that was when the end was in sight, so I just kept pushing on.

I know 42K isn’t enough for a novel, but it’s great for a start. I have a handful of scenes I need to pull from the old version and re-use, and then I can start expanding this first-draft hoariness into something wonderful.

Graph showing daily wordcount for the rugby book plus a running total

How I wrote 50K words in a month (part 3)

Okay, so, remember how I posted about writing 50K words in a month over Christmas? Well, that novel (Submerged) is off being read by someone at the moment, and I needed something else to work on while it was away.

I’d had an idea rattling around about 18 months ago for a contemporary, but it had never gone anywhere. I’d started it a couple of times in a couple of different ways but I got a bit bored and stopped.

But since Submerged is paranormal, I thought it would be a good idea to alternate with a contemporary.

Enter Graceless. It’s about a teenage rugby player who has the best night of his life followed by the worst two weeks of his life.


photo credit: aOC1A8861 
via photopin (license)

It also involves 2 things I know pretty much nothing about. Rugby and religion. (There’s also romance, but I’ve got that covered.)

I had a great character urging me to let him loose, and a great concept, but I didn’t really have a plot.

Until I did.

It came to me, I sketched it out, and stewed on it for a week. Then I started writing and didn’t stop for 2 weeks.

Again, I wrote this first, exploratory draft longhand, and I was careful to remember to include the date each time I started, so I have a really good idea of how many words I wrote. (Okay, good but rough. I estimate I get about 200 words on a page.)

And because I find this really interesting, I decided to include it here. I’m actually stunned at how many words I got down at the beginning. My poor children.

Date Word Count Running Total
26/06/16 4400 4400
27/06/16 0 4400
28/06/16 5000 9400
29/06/16 0 9400
30/06/16 1600 11000
01/07/16 0 11000
02/07/16 0 11000
03/07/16 4600 15600
04/07/16 2400 18000
05/07/16 1400 19400
06/07/16 2400 21800
07/07/16 2400 24200
08/07/16 2800 27000
09/07/16 400 27400
10/07/16 3200 30600

So there were a few days when nothing happened, but they were balanced out by the days when a ton of words happened. 🙂

And here it is in handy graph form:


I’m going to quote myself here (from part 1):

The more I wrote, the more I got to know the characters. Relationships developed. Motivations became clear. … [T]he plot points I’d plotted got a bit fuzzy. But The Plan was still there to guide me.

Man, things were the same this time. The MC’s relationship with his father completely changed (for the better I think). Characters who were wooden placeholders at the beginning developed into 3D people. And the overall plan was still there to guide me.

And now I’m at the point where I ended part 1. The longhand part is done (the whole arc is there, beginning to end) and now I need to type it up.

I’m a bit scared to go back and see what the beginning is like because it feels so far away from the end. But I’m also excited to start the 2nd (expandatory) draft.

I’ll let you know how it goes.