First draft – finished!

12:43am, Friday 8 April 2011. Rain drizzles over the Brisbane suburb of Moorooka. Inside the small post-war Queenslander, all is quiet – almost.

If you listen closely, you can just make out the faint tap-tap tap-tap-tap of fingers on a keyboard. A final flurry of tapping is followed by a triumphant sigh. The wheels of a study chair slide in circles across the floor as its occupant stages a silent celebration…

Yes, that’s right. In the wee hours of this morning, I finished the first draft of Tangled!!!!




Drink splash

Party time!


Colourful balloons



My total word count was – wait for it – 174,520 words. *Gulp!* I’m pretty sure when I print my manuscript out, it will look something like this…

Mountain of paper



Where to from here?

For the next two weeks, Tangled is untouchable. I’ve got a big pile of books calling my name.

Pile of books

Thank you 75% off sale!

But once Easter has passed, the Big Edit begins…

Thanks for all of your supportive comments thus far. They mean a lot to me! 🙂



Filed under Progress update, Tangled, Writing

34 responses to “First draft – finished!

  1. JessB

    Congrats Cally, that’s such awesome news!

    I feel a little like you, because I finished an essay in the early hours of this morning – only 3,300 words though!

    Good on you for taking a break, you so deserve it.

    • Good on you for finishing your essay, Jess. I’m so glad I’m not studying any more – although I have actually been considering going back to study creative writing so I better be careful what I say! 🙂

  2. Congrats!! This is fabulous news. 😀 I hope you enjoy your break & all that reading!

    I’m heading toward the end of my revision, at which point I will have a THIRD draft. And then I’m taking a break to try and achieve some of my other goals for the year. THEN I get onto the next revision, and the beginning of Draft #4 😀

  3. Danny

    Congratulations, CAL!
    How did you celebrate? Did you laugh? Did you cry?
    Do you feel like a chapter of your life is over and another has begun?
    Remember to back up your work!

    • Thanks, Danny! I celebrated by letting myself have Maccas for breakfast the next morning. Very naughty, I know 😀

      And yes, I do feel like another chapter has begun – the editing chapter! Bring it on. * grins evilly*

  4. Congratulations! Enjoy celebrating with your pile of books, that’s a lot of words you need to restock.
    – Sophia.

  5. Congratulations on finishing your first draft! 🙂

  6. Congratulations Cally! I’m glad you’re celebrating ’cause that’s a lot of work you accomplished.

  7. WOOT! Congratulations!! That is fantastic! Have fun on your well-deserved reading break!

  8. Congratulations!! Have fun reading those books. They look good. 🙂

  9. laradunning

    Congrats! Good choice to take a break from it and then look at it with fresh eyes. Enjoy your reading!

  10. Congratulations! Enjoy your reads.

  11. Vicki Tremper

    Congrats on finishing the first draft of Tangled! That is one of the best feelings in the world. Enjoy it.

  12. Oh WOW that is awesome news!!

    Well done, 174,000 words, how can anyone think of that many…. whew!

    you must tell me what Mao’s last dancer is like. I have been meaning to read the book for a while now. I saw the movie for the first time about 3 weeks ago and loved it!

    Enjoy the reading break.


    • Thanks, Sarah! I know, the word count is CRAZY! Re Mao’s Last Dancer, I think I’m going to read that one first. I’ve been wanting to see the movie but have been holding off because I like to read the books first. I’ll let you know my thoughts when I’ve finished it. 🙂

  13. Congratulations! Well done! Love the picture of your printed out ms 🙂

  14. I know I said this on Twitter already, but CONGRATULATIONS!

    What a wonderful feeling, to finish the first draft of an entire novel 🙂 Well done!

  15. Congrats congrats congrats! Yay! Well done! And with a manuscript THAT large are you sure two weeks is a long enough wait? 😉 Though you probably haven’t seen the beginning in a while…

  16. Congrats on finshing! 🙂

  17. Woohoo! What an accomplishment!

  18. Congratulations Cally!

  19. Woot, that must be such an awesome feeling!!! Um, 170-odd thousand words, gulp! 😉

    Best of luck when you dive into your revisions, not long now 🙂



    PS – you live in Moorooka? That’s not too far from where I used to live 😉


  20. Pingback: The weight of great expectation | Cally Jackson Writes

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