Draft Done, Time For A Draft

      21 Comments on Draft Done, Time For A Draft

Whew! It’s nearly 4:00 PM, and I made my deadline an hour ago. Then I celebrated with a round of disc golf. I don’t know what my final score was, because my brain was too busy saying “The book is done! The book is done!” to bother remembering strokes.

Actually, “done” would be stretching the truth. The first draft is done. That’s huge, because it means I’ve said everything I want to say. Now I’ll do what I always do with a long piece of work: let it cool for several days, then give it a full read-through, then say everything again, only better. Second and third drafts are usually where I come up with a lot of ideas for adding humor into the mix.

My primary tool for writing isn’t a computer. It’s a recorder, for a couple of reasons. The recorder allows me to “write” while commuting to Nashville. Most writing time is actually thinking time, and I find it easy to think in a car. Back in the day, I wrote most of my new standup material by dictating during long road trips.

I use the recorder first even when I’m at home and could type on the computer. As I learned the hard way when I first tried doing standup, written English and spoken English are related, but not the same. If you’ve ever heard someone give a speech that sounded like a term paper read aloud, you know what I mean. Natural speech has a different rhythm. When I was a journalism major, the broadcast news professor insisted we learn to write TV copy by using what he called the “Hey, Joe, Didja Know” method. Turn to an imaginary person and tell him the story. Then write that down. Otherwise, you’ll probably write copy that looks fine on paper but sounds clunky spoken aloud.

This is a book, which of course means people will be reading it. But it’s a book for kids, so I want the text to read almost like someone talking. We also plan to produce a companion DVD, so I figured I may as well put the language in a to-be-heard format from the beginning.

We’ve got a loooong way to go to finish the entire project. Chareva has a ton of cartoons and graphics to draw, plus she’s learning InDesign so she can design the book. I haven’t used After Effects or other animation software in years, so I need to seriously upgrade my skillset and learn the latest version.

But the first draft is done. That’s the best birthday present I’ve given myself since the Fat Head premiere party on my 50th.

And now it’s time for my annual indulgence in pizza-with-everything and a few craft beers.  I’m pretty sure I deserve it.


21 thoughts on “Draft Done, Time For A Draft

  1. Elenor

    Congrats!! Way to go!

    Geez, you means you’ve made ALL this difference in the entire world in just seven years?! Whew! Amazing!

    Is Fat Head pulled from YouTube? I went to pull the URL the other day to send to someone, and couldn’t find it. The clip I wanted them to see was there, so I could entice them to keep going… and I usually start folks on Science for Smart People (both cause it’s shorter, and because it ‘lays groundwork’ I think most people no longer got/get in school!! {sigh})


    p.s. Please let me remind you of my offer to run my (professional) editor’s eye over your book when you’re ready for it.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I emailed someone at Gravitas to ask why Fat Head isn’t on YouTube anymore. She wasn’t sure what happened, but promised to look into putting it up again.

  2. Anne Robertson

    Well done, Tom. Archie and I just finished the first draft of a much more boring book, all about how to use the Mac word-processing application Pages if you have no sight and use the screenreader VoiceOver. We’re treating ourselves with a Japanese meal this evening.

  3. Susan B.

    Happy Birthday, Tom!!

    Thanks for all you do on your blog. I’ve learned a lot – and been entertained as well.

    I’m looking forward to your book. I’ll be trying to think of kids who might like it – after I finish reading it

  4. Sky King

    Congrats on your upcoming book! Looking forward to reading it. Here’s hoping it’ll turn into a bestseller!

    But, I do take issue with you “rewarding” yourself with crap (pizza with some liquefied bread/rice) because you “deserve” it..?? o_O Since when should folks start rewarding themselves with junk food? That would be sending a bad message, donchya think?

    I think you most definitely deserve to reward yourself, but perhaps with a nice big fat juicy rib eye steak down at the local steakhouse, instead! :0D

      1. j

        Sometimes you just gotta have a nice frosty mug of quality liquefied grain..and once (or few times) a year is trivial…it’s not like he’s downing a six pack every weekend.. XD

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Bingo. It’s not the occasional indulgences that kill us. It’s the regular and ongoing abuse of a bad diet.

          1. Mike

            I don’t disagree with the principle of a birthday indulgence, but didn’t you also say somewhere that after you do this, you feel like crap the next day? I eat way fewer carbs than you and when I accidentally ingested a fair number, I felt peculiar for a couple of days. It didn’t feel like a reward, but a punishment. My birthday meal was a yummy steak.
            Maybe it’s like hang-overs; some people are willing to pay that price, or maybe your experience was milder than mine.

            1. Tom Naughton Post author

              It’s milder than a hangover. More like low-energy the next day. And yeah, once per year or so, it’s worth it.

  5. flies

    Hello! I have two questions for you:

    Is it really necessary to absorb extra grease on a napkin when cooking bacon? If fat is good, why would be sponge it out of the bacon… I’m asking to you because I feel like you know more than most of the people.

    Also, will you book be translated in other languages when it is finished, like French? I’d love to share your book , but some people are bad in english where I live, so a colorful book written in french to explain them the right dietary advice would be the best to teach them.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I put bacon on a paper towel, but it’s not because I think the bacon grease is harmful. I just prefer the bacon without grease dripping off when I pick it up.

      No plans yet to publish the book in other languages, but if it does well in the U.S., we’ll certainly be looking to tap other markets.

  6. Randy

    Sorry I missed it, where can I get more info on the upcoming book? It’s a children’s book about nutrition/health? Thanks…

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ve only mentioned it a few times on the blog, so you may have missed it. Yes, Chareva and I are working on a book about diet and health for kids. The working title is “Fat Head Kids: stuff about diet and health I wish I knew when I was your age.” I’m writing, she’s drawing. Lots of cartoons in the works. If all goes well, I’ll be pulling those cartoons into a DVD version, which will include interviews with about a dozen experts.


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