Last night I did. I got to the end. I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT!
Is there anything quite as exciting?
I know I still have a lot of work ahead of me–there are so many inconsistencies in my book, and reader would throw it at the wall! But now I have the bones. In the past few months I’ve learned that my favorite part of writing is revision. I love tinkering with words to make each sentence better than it was before. I love seeing the improvement from draft to draft. Don’t get me wrong, creating is fun too, but there’s something really satisfying about revision. I’m really excited to jump into it and start adding and changing things!
So here is my plan.
I’m going to step away from my novel for a while. Just a month or so, to give myself some distance. I don’t want to be too attached to it when it’s time to start slashing paragraphs left and right. During that time I’m going to focus on short stories and other related projects for this novel.
This book started out as a NaNoWriMo book, so it wasn’t well thought out. I had a vague idea and a handful of character names and that was it. I hadn’t done any worldbuilding, or plot structuring, or anything prior to drafting! A few days ago I realized that I never even thought out the timeline of the book, which is kind of a huge problem when one of your characters gets pregnant and gives birth during the course of the story! Luckily it all worked out, but it certainly was a bit of a wake-up call–I need a timeline! Before I start revising the novel I need to sort out what happens when. I’m also hoping to have a handy little worldbuilding notebook to help me add more flavor to the book. This is a fantasy book, and I want the world to feel real and well rounded. I want there to be religion, politics, food, songs, and culture. I hope that by the time I’m done with the book readers will be able to feel like I’ve fully immersed them in the world, instead of just teasing them with hints about what it could be.
Here are some stats on the first draft:
132 single spaced pages
I fully expect all of those numbers to go up as I’m revising. I’m probably going to add about three chapters, not to mention all of the details I want to add! Between all the stuff I want to add and all the stuff I already know I want to take out, I feel like it will probably end up to be about 95,000 words. We’ll see in a few months how that prediction holds up!