Handwritten first draft manuscript of She Who Returns

First Draft Completed

I started writing this on December 11th, 2020, with the intention of finishing the first draft on June 30th, 2021. It’s done–all 202 pages of scribble.

Handwritten title page for She Who Returns manuscript

Now the challenge is to turn it into…

  1. A Word document
  2. Something legible
  3. The second draft
  4. The sequel to She Who Comes Forth.

Note the Motto!


      1. You’re welcome, Audrey! I worked with someone who had a background in making TV commericials, and his standard line was, “Oh, we can fix that in post.” (post-production).

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    1. Typing up one of these is sort of like doing the first draft all over again, except I’ve got the story line more or less figured out. I suspect it’s pretty shaky in spots, though.
      I’m actually thinking of taking an online course in Egyptian hieroglyphics while I work on the rewrites.

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  1. Congratulations and right on schedule! Are you planning on doing a second, third & whatever series of drafts, or just roll it all into one typed one? I once tried retyping a typewritten story and found it very slow going, but I imagine that if you just use your handwritten draft as a guide and a prompt, it might work pretty slick. But then, that has been your method all along, so it must work for you. Are you setting a deadline or daily goal for this next phase?

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    1. I’m planning the next steps (and enjoying not having to show up at the desk every day). My intention is to type up the manuscript more or less as it is, including all my suggestions to self, and then making a copy to actually work on draft 2. It will be hard not to make major changes while typing, though.
      With my earlier novels, tried to have only one document, rather than saving every draft, to minimize confusion as to which document was the True Text. If I deleted more than a paragraph or so, I would save it in a separate file, but otherwise, any changes obliterated the previous text.
      I rarely refer back to the handwritten manuscripts once I’ve created the Word docs.
      I don’t have a tight schedule planned for the rewrite, but I would like to get the thing into publishable shape by next spring.


      1. The first thing I do when I begin the day is to save the ms with the day’s date so that the most I can screw up is one day’s work, so I have tons of drafts. I’m taking a break from writing to dream up a new story, myself. But unlike you, I have a feeling that I will miss those two hours in the morning I write.

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        1. Actually writing feels worthwhile. The anxiety-producing thing is getting into the chair. Once I’ve done that day’s quota, I’m happy.
          Having multiple drafts makes me nervous, but it does make sense to save copies of the different major stages of rewrite, in case I have second thoughts about something.


  2. Congratulations, Audrey. Just looking at your hand written pages made my eyes cross. I have trouble reading my shopping lists these days, but your process is your process and it works for you, that’s all that matters. Whatever helps unlock the imagination and fuel the words is GOOD. lol
    One thing though, are you sure you can’t take this opportunity to go to something better than Word? If you’re going to type up the first draft as is, you’ll be doing a lot of restructuring, moving around, blah blah. Why not do that in a program that makes it easy? I know you can do all that in Word, but it isn’t easy, even if you’ve been doing it for years.
    Okay, I’ll shut up now. πŸ™‚

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    1. Good advice, except I don’t want to go through the process of learning a new program before starting this. I’m familiar with Word and can put up with its annoyances. Right now I just want to get the work into a form where I can beat it into shape.
      But thanks for the intention! πŸ˜€

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      1. Oh!!!!! I’m an idiot. With StoryBox, the one I use, you can import a basic text file from Word or any other word processor with just a little bit of work to mark chapters and scenes. After that, the program splits the text into said chapters and scenes automatically. But unlike Word, they then become discrete items that can be shuffled around like playing cards, or cards on a storyboard.
        I haven’t used Scrivener but I believe it has the same functionality so you /could/ do all this after you type up that first draft.
        -cough- okay, I really will shut up now. Sorry. 😦

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  3. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
    Well done Audrey!
    Getting there. You wouldn’t miss that feeling for the world. Would you?
    And now it’s time for ‘Discovery’ journey, when you uncover all those interesting sub-texts your conscious missed out on first time around.
    Enjoy the journey!πŸ‘

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