Posted by: Casey Lybrand | August 2, 2010

What happens in Vegas…

I was in Las Vegas. [1] Many things happened which need to just… stay there. I do, however, have at least one story to tell. I’m editing a short piece about something special from my trip. Here’s how it begins at the moment:

I let my mother put flowers in my hair the first time around, but I refused to carry any in my hands.

More to follow. Right now it’s all scratched out on notebook paper in the desperate scribble which passes for my handwriting. I’ll get it into the computer, along with all the other words I wrote while I was away, and get to editing.

First Draft Update

In other news, a bit of writing and a few days away from my computer helped me realize that I am, indeed, done with my first draft. I wrote a few missing scenes on the trip, and now… I’m done. Nothing left to write until I go through and impose some order on the draft, and–


And oh, my FSM. I’m. Done. [2]

(Thoughts to follow when I finally wrap my mind around this new and bizarre state of being which is “done with the first draft”. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet.)

1: Yes, there is internet in Las Vegas. I was at a conference where accessing the internet is very much at-your-own-risk. (To be fair, accessing the internet is never risk-free, but some times and places are riskier than others.) The break was nice. I think I slept about five hours a night. It’s nice to be back. I’m exhausted. In a good way.

2: And if I understand the process correctly, “I’m done with the first draft” means “now the real work can begin”. Too giddy to feel intimidated just yet, though.


  1. “Thoughts to follow when I finally wrap my mind around this new and bizarre state of being which is “done with the first draft”. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet.” – That is /exactly/ how I felt when I finished my first draft. Congrats!!

  2. Thank you! It’s a weird feeling — a dawning realization that I had done everything I could on the first draft, and now I need to move into revision. (The more I think about the prospect of revision, the more real it seems in an “Eep!” sort of way.)

  3. Congrats on finishing the first draft Casey! I was too aware when mine was coming to its end, so it didn’t really hit me like it did you. I saw it coming and I knew the night I was typing the last chapter, it took three hours. Looking back, I can tell you that was the easiest bit of all and I wish someone had told me how hard it was going to get after that.

    P.S I like Vegas, been there twice, find it bizarre how you can easily forget if it’s day or night if you just stay indoors walking through all the connected hotels, people sit there gambling whether it’s 3 am for 4pm!

  4. Thank you, Alannah! I think it’s really cool you got to savor your last chapter. I wrote mine weeks ago, and finally figured out what it was. I did really enjoy the scene I wrote last (a missing scene) for the first draft — going into a city with a new perspective, so things the protagonist has seen before, she now sees with new eyes.

    I am listening to writers say it gets tough now. I’m trying to figure out what kind of break from the novel I should take, if any, and where to go from here. The first thing I need to do is take all my scenes and chapters and get them in order. Then there’s a fair bit of re-working scenes to fit the timeline. That should keep me busy for a while.

    Vegas: Awesome. I’d never been there before. The sense of timelessness to the day is remarkable. And there’s good reason to stay inside — the heat is overpowering, even at night. I braced myself every time I approached a door to the outside. When we walked out the doors at the airport at home — into 58 degrees F (14 C) — it took me a moment to realize the heat was just not going to hit. Home!

  5. I know the feeling Casey- I literally panicked when I finished writing my first draft! It took me like 10 days to realize that I was actually done writing it… And the real work begins; the fun process of rewiring, revising, editing and then rewriting some more :)

    But, but…
    WHAT happened in Vegas? I really want to read that story, that first line tells me so much- she is getting married? She obviously has some issues with her mother right? She doesn’t love the man? Oh well, guess I’ll just have to wait to find out :)

  6. I think I had my freak out a little before finishing. I was only a few missing scenes away, but I needed to look at the draft a bit differently. Now I am vacillating between excitement at having a finished draft and trepidation at all the work there still is to do.

    What happened in Vegas? I’m editing it now! :) Don’t so many of us have issues with our mothers and with love? Let’s see if I can do something original with it. ;) I’m so glad you like the first line. Thank you, Lua.

  7. Meant to say, after you’ve tidied it all up. They say you’re meant to let the draft “breathe” and the minimum amount of time is meant to be 2 weeks so you can go back to look at the draft with “fresh eyes” I did as Stephen King suggested and left it for 6 weeks (but I was busy writing a few short stories during that time so I was okay)

    Oh dear, I meant to also comment about that line…t was very intriguing!

  8. Hey, I’m dropping by for the first time here.

    Speaking as someone who was born and raised in LV… what happens in Vegas typically ends up on cctv…

    Congrats on the draft completion. FSM would be proud, you are truly touched by His Noodley Appendage. =)

  9. Alannah,

    Thank you so much for the advice. I think I will tidy the MS, then let it sit. I have a short story I’m working on now (not the Vegas thing, though that too). I should have plenty to keep me busy for a while. Don’t know if I can make myself wait 6 weeks, but that might be best.

    Glad you like the line! Now I have to get the rest of it in order.

    Cities of the Mind,

    Thank you! When I finished the first draft, I celebrated with grog, of course. (Always best to go with WWAPD.)

    “what happens in Vegas typically ends up on cctv…” Ah. Great. That’ll help me sleep at night. ;)

  10. Hooray! Congrats! Now we can be editing masochists together!

  11. Thank you, Allison! “editing masochists” — why is there a certain appeal to that? ;)

  12. Casey – Re: “I am listening to writers say it gets tough now.” Don’t worry. There are LOTS of writers who say that editing is their favorite part, that they just get through the 1st draft to get to the fun part :).

  13. Thank you for that, Layla. It’s not a perspective I’ve heard often, but I find that as “The End” becomes more of a real concept (as in, I realize the first draft is really done), I’m more and more excited to get to editing. Just another thing that’s not at all what I expected.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: