Novel Writing 4: First Draft Complete!
I’ve completed the first draft of my novel!
It doesn’t seem very long ago that I was writing about the twists and turns of working on my first novel. Today I’m happy to announce that (as of two days ago) I’ve reached the end of my first draft! For those who missed it, here was the Twitter announcement:
— I H Laking (@IHLaking) June 16, 2015
Now that I’ve reached the end of my first draft, I have a few reflections on how things have turned out:
- At the moment, the draft stands at around 65,000 words, which is a touch shorter than I originally envisioned. I’m fairly comfortable with this, though, because I have some extra pieces to add in which will tie up loose ends. One important addition will add extra length to the end of the book.
- I’ve dived into a tidy up/first edit of the manuscript, and have found that I’m pleasantly surprised at the flow of the story. Reading through from the start has actually been quite refreshing. But…
- It’s was challenging to remember everything that I put in at the start of the book, since it was so long ago that I started. I don’t mean this in relation to major characters or plot points, but in terms of smaller plot elements, I’m finding a number of things that I started and never elaborated on at the start of the novel. So I now have a growing list of things that I need to either tie up or cut out.
- Choosing the point at which to finish the story has also been difficult, as there’s a lot to tell about the Empire. I’ll write a bigger piece on this later to give some more insight into the challenges I’m facing.
- The way the story worked out surprised me a little, as the plan had been a little more involved. I ended up taking a few turns that I feel have made the story line stronger and will keep the pacing tight.
I’m not sure how I expected to feel once I finished the manuscript, but I definitely didn’t feel the accomplishment I expected. I think this is because I’m not really happy with some of the loose ends I’m facing, hence why I’ve gone straight back into editing to weed out what I can while everything is still fresh. I’ll be happy when I know my plot points are solid, and the conclusion of the book is more robust.
So here’s to more editing in the coming months, and then the next steps in my novel-writing journey. Thanks for joining me on the road so far. 🙂