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#FirstDraft60 Day 39 — Friday is SWAT day! Check in with Your Project

Friday, October 9, 2015

#FirstDraft60 | KayeDacus.comIt’s Friday! That means it’s time to check in with your progress in the challenge.

On Fridays, I want to know about your full writing week. What were your greatest successes during the week? What was your favorite line/bit that you wrote? What did you learn about yourself, your characters, and/or your story during the week’s work? What are you most proud of yourself for doing this week when it came to your writing? What are you proud of yourself for accomplishing?

In the business world, there’s a planning model called SWOT—which is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Around here, we’re going to use SWAT, but we’re going to do it differently, so check in with the following recap for your week:

  • Self-Evaluation (how do you think you did? what can/do you want to do differently next week? what did you learn about yourself as a person or as a writer? what didn’t you do or finish that you wanted to? etc.)
  • Word count (total for the week, Saturday through today)
  • Awesome Accomplishments (breakthroughs, discoveries, highest daily word-count ever, etc.)
  • Tidbits too good not to share

If you don’t want to share this stuff publicly, that’s okay. You can add a section to your Story Bible or start a journal (or add this to your existing journal) to keep track of this. But don’t skip doing this—I think that in the future, when you look back either on what you accomplished during this challenge or (heaven forbid) why you gave up on it, the insights you’ll gather later with hindsight on your thoughts during the challenge will be invaluable.

Happy writing!

  1. Lisa Jarvis permalink
    Friday, October 9, 2015 4:54 pm

    Hi. I’ve been working on the 60 day challenge. Since Oct 1st, I’ve been limiting my internet time. I read most of the posts on my phone when I can multi-task. It’s too much of a pain commenting from my phone so I haven’t.

    I’ve written a little over 17k this week. My best day was yesterday. I was on a role and managed almost 3,500 words. I am ahead a couple days of our cumulative goal because I had some scenes drafted prior to the challenge. I would have been behind otherwise. I had a slow start.

    I tried the 1k in 1hour for the first time during this challenge. I got to 1,040 words in 50 minutes. The second time I managed 1,122 in an hour. I think the time constraint forced me to adhere to the no editing, no researching and don’t worry about the perfect word guidelines of 30-day draft writing.

    I liked the volume I put out but I found myself telling constantly instead of showing. Does anyone else find they do that in draft mode?

    Does anyone have a recommendation if I should allow myself to fall into telling in this drafting scenario or if I should take the extra time and ignore word counts until I get back into showing mode? All opinions appreciated.

    I did learn some interesting facts about the hottie my protagonist is interested in that are sure to cause conflict down the road but I don’t have time to get into it now. Already used up my internet time.

    Happy writing.


    • Friday, October 9, 2015 5:16 pm

      Definitely don’t worry about Showing vs. Telling when writing the first draft. The important thing to focus on right now is just getting the whole story down on paper in whatever form it comes out of your brain and through your fingers to the page. (And yes, I do A LOT of telling in a first draft—and a lot of info dumps when I’m working out a previously unknown detail/episode from a character’s backstory or a lot of “stuck inside the character’s head” type of writing when I’m trying to work out something in the character’s internal conflict.) I think it’s only natural to write the first draft that way.

      The second (third, fourth, fifth . . .) draft is when you would work on changing all of that telling into showing. Remember, by the time you get to the end of your first draft and you know everything that needs to happen in your story (some of which you will have written, some of which you will need to go back and add in rewrites), you may be cutting some/most of that “telling” that you’re needlessly worrying about right now.

      Just let it flow like the word-soup that a first draft is supposed to be. Remember, the only thing that can’t be fixed later is a blank page. So tell, tell, tell, if that’s the easiest way for you to get your first draft written.


      • Lisa Jarvis permalink
        Friday, October 9, 2015 8:04 pm

        Thank you. 🙂


  2. Carol permalink
    Friday, October 9, 2015 5:30 pm

    I’m still working on my plan. I’m going very slowly. Not on purpose, really. But I am moving forward. I think I have finally figured out what the story is. 😀 I hope to start writing the draft this weekend. I don’t have a word count goal, but my challenge is to keep going. Ultimately I want to learn to take a story from idea through planning and rough draft to as polished as I can make it.


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