1. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Sep 24, 2009
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    Alabama, USA

    What Did Your First Draft Look Like?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Link the Writer, Apr 5, 2018.

    Fun game: what did the earliest version of your drafts look like?

    In my fantasy, the main character was Gregreo Valmorn, an orphaned tavern boy who was discovered by an elf (named Harb) who detected special powers in him. They embarked on an adventure where Gregreo would learn about his destiny, and he also had a girlfriend named Thylora. And yes, he was blind (though he had no Soul Sight/Aura like Mishu has.)

    In my Colonial Mystery, eh, mainly the same, only Amos Garnier was 'Amos Meddlin', and the tavern owner was a complete jerk to him. xD Of course, that eventually split to multiple versions such as an 1850s version where Amos was a Mexican boy named Miguel Sanchez, and a 1860s version where he was a young lady named Chloe Thornmell. There was even a 1950s version where he was Kenny Baker.

    In my General Mysteries...hooooo boy! For starters, the main character was Heridon Copper, he had an adopted brother named Jeremy Watson who was a half-elf (his people lived in the marshlands) whose parents were murdered by Bob Blain (great villain name there...) They had a friend, Holly Morrison, who was a zombie-girl because her warlock uncle stole her soul and locked it up in a soul jar in a cave. Oh, and Heridon's best friend, Matt McWolf was a warrior who could transform into said warrior by pulling a sword out of a block of wood. And this was all supposed to be a simple GENERAL MYSTERIES story about a stolen amulet. :p

    My Sci-Fi is mostly the same, only Helen Chert was from the United States, not Scotland. :p I mean, she still could, but...I like her where she is. :3 Oh, uh, Kenthew was actually part of this story first before I moved him to my fantasy. Helen adopted him as her surrogate son.
    So, now that I've shared my embarrassing early versions of my drafts, what are yours? :3 Do you feel brave enough to share?
    Cave Troll likes this.
  2. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

    Aug 8, 2015
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    Where cushions are comfy, and straps hold firm.
    Pretty much everything I wrote at 17. Lots of cringe. :D
    Though the best of the bunch is rated outside of normal
    discussion. Still look back and laugh at how much of a
    derp I was. :p
  3. izzybot

    izzybot (unspecified) Contributor

    Jun 3, 2015
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    SC, USA
    I started typing and it turned out I was not brave enough to share :oops:

    One of my main current projects is a rework of something I started writing when I was eleven or twelve. That original stuff was preeetty bad, hahah.
  4. Night Herald

    Night Herald The Fool Contributor

    May 23, 2012
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    Far out
    I don't have a complete first draft yet, but:

    My current ~50k WIP has come together in a hurry (by my standards) and has undergone few major changes. It's pretty tight and decent, for a draft.

    On the other hand, my long-term project is a different story. It has been going on for years now, and was begun by a far more uncertain writer.

    It started as a first person work fraturing one Eden Rei as the protagonist.
    Then I changed it to third person, and introduced a second protagonist, Mespher Vedenvectis or some such. He was a young lad from some backwater village.
    Then I turned him into an adult, and gave him a new origin story - escaped convict, former head enforcer to a ruthless crime lord - and changed his personality completely. I put him in another region, and his name morphed via several iterations into Iespher Vectis.
    Later, I took away his POV, last name, family, and a good chunk of his backstory (not the convict/enforcer stuff) as well as his love/hate interest plus other bits of his arc, to another character, Kalren, who became the Watson to his Holmes. I also made him a robot. It's complicated.

    This novel, then, which began as a first person single protagonist Dark Fantasy, is now a full-blown Science Fantasy in third person close featuring 8 POVs or so. A whole different book, though many pieces have survived pretty much intact.

    ETA: Moreover, the basic premise of "fighting monsters because monsters are bad and there happen to be some over there" has become a frayed web of military conflicts, internal strife, backstabbing, personal vendettas, struggle for survival, jaunty adventures, criminal affairs and conspiracies, societal collapse, and, of course, monsters. That is to make no mention of Aliens, ancient technology, guided evolution, rampant mutation, fallen and (re)emerging gods, alternate dimensions. It's a mess of a story, all right.

    I'm not sure I'll ever finish it. I can at least put it to use as a pile of spare parts for more cohesive projects.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  5. Mans

    Mans Contributor Contributor

    Sep 29, 2012
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    It looked like a monster that was smiling at me.
  6. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

    Aug 12, 2015
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    London, UK
    My first draft of my first manuscript? Appalling. A while back I thought it would be fun and nostalgic to read it. I didn't make it past a couple of pages, and my face was like: :read2::bigconfused::ohno::supercry: It bears almost zero resemblance to how that manuscript ended up - probably the only thing that could link them is the main characters' names.

    Nowadays, I don't really have/need distinct 'drafts.' I write it, and might go back to change some things as the characters develop or new ideas come to me (though I avoid this because man, I hate rewriting). When it's done I do a sort of copy edit, correcting SPAG as well as any awkward sentences, and then it's ready for beta readers. I usually have some changes to make after their feedback, but not major ones.

    I'd say 90% of the sentences in my 'first drafts' will end up in the final draft.
    GlitterRain7, izzybot and Cave Troll like this.
  7. saxonslav

    saxonslav Member

    Mar 30, 2018
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    I wrote pretty badly when I was 12. One of my favourite stories was all about a global societal collapse as a result of various countries fighting in conventional warfare, with minimal nuclear usage.

    Basically most ultranationalist Americans' wet dreams.

    I'll be honest though, I don't tear down my first drafts unless I find it really bad- I don't believe in "inevitable rewrites" or so on, but I do edit.
  8. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

    Dec 30, 2010
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    My MC was Heinrich Bakewell, who was created as a weapon of mass destruction and thus had no birth, no parents, and no memories of his past - since he didn't have a past. He woke up in the Cave of Despair (where restless souls mourn and weep for eternity), wandered into the outside world, and was adopted into a cheese-maker family, thus acquiring an adopted brother called Stefan. The story starts from 5 High Priests come looking for him in order to kill him. He runs, thus meeting the female lead Eleanor, and her friend Luke. Eleanor eventually leads them all to a city where they meet her childhood friend Thomas, who was supposed to be able to help them out with some important info etc and how to avoid the High Priests etc. Heinrich and Eleanor were supposed to be an item, while the chemistry was actually between Eleanor and Thomas (utterly unintended), and all this time Luke was secretly in love with Eleanor and she didn't know it. In the background, my villain, Shadow Rider, stalks Heinrich, waiting for an opportune moment to persuade him into coming to the dark side. All of this was inspired by a mixture of heavy anime and Baldur's Gate 2 (an old RPG I was playing, where my character was called I'Ma T'Ree because I didn't believe I'd enjoy it, and I ended up loving it - and thus, Heinrich was born)

    It has since morphed into: Thomas has been renamed into Will, who is now the MC. He also has a far cooler surname now. Neither Luke nor Stefan exists. And Eleanor's new name's Arlia. Will is not a weapon of mass destruction, there's no convenient amnesia, but he does have some special powers. Arlia and Will are still an item. The High Priests no longer wanna kill him. Shadow Rider has been renamed into Shadow Walker, who does still want Will for his own purposes, but there's no stalking anymore.
  9. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

    Jun 24, 2017
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    Umm... my 22k mostly finished "first draft" of my WIP? It was honestly trash. :dead:
    First thing, it was waaaayyy too short. Second, it was verrrryyy episodic. There was pretty much nothing tying in some of the chapters. Honestly, there wasn't very much plot at all. Third, it was just written terrible. Forth, it was too tame. Fifth, the characters were embarrassing. Seriously, you get the feeling that the MC is going to cheat on his first girlfriend, which is the complete opposite of what actually happens, and the antagonist is so cringeworthy. He seems like an evil bum. That's my fault, though. He wasn't very well developed when I wrote that. Needless to say, he's probably the character who got the biggest revamp in my manuscript. Now he's, like, not a loser.
    Scratch that, in my opinion, none of the characters are stupid acting/sounding losers anymore.
    Oh, and also, there's a lot of minor characters who didn't even exist in that "first draft."
    izzybot likes this.
  10. Moon

    Moon Contributor Contributor

    Jul 21, 2017
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    It looked great. Lemme tell you, Stevie Wonder, bless his heart, said he thought it looked amazing.

    I thought it looked like crap though.
    Cave Troll likes this.
  11. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.
    I'm proud of my first draft. Six or seven years later (I lose track) it has evolved into a decent book. A little bit more work...

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