If you've been following me on twitter, you'll probably know that for the past couple of months I've been working on the first draft of my first novel.
Last night I finished the first draft! Yay!
Today I just want to share some of my thoughts on my first draft, and some of my plans on what I'm going to do next.
TOTAL WORD COUNT: 106,733
TOTAL CHAPTERS: 65 (my chapters are really short)
My first thought when I finished was mostly phew, now I can sleep. Then I did a little happy dance, and then I got really overwhelmed, and then I just thought oh crap, now I have to edit. It was a roller coaster of emotions, to say the least.
The thing is, I've always loved writing, I've always said I wanted to be an author when I grew up, but this is the first time I've had the commitment and the dedication to actually finish a full draft of a novel. It feels like I've made some kind of breakthrough. Now I know that I can actually do it, and I don't think I'm going to stop.
I've learnt so much about my writing over the past few months, more than I learnt from years of writing random short stories and fanfiction. Mostly I've learnt that my writing is pretty terrible without editing and that killing off my characters makes me feel equal parts powerful and sad. I can write a lot faster now, and I can write far more in one day than I could at the start of January.
So what's next? I'm going to take a break first so I can detach myself from my story and read it with fresh eyes when I finally get to editing, and I'm probably just going to write some short stories and start planning some possible future books.
Then, after a month or so, I'm going to read through my first draft, and I'm probably just going to think what the heck is this? When I get over my horror at the amount of work it needs to become even remotely readable (and, trust me, it needs a lot of work), I'll start editing. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to approach that yet. Right now I don't even want to think about it.
I want to have at least the second draft finished by September/October so I can start planning for NaNoWriMo in November. I have a very idea of what my story is going to be, and I'm really excited to get into it! This will be my first year participating in NaNoWriMo. Wish me luck!
It's going to take a lot of work, and a lot of time, before this novel is anything more than a hundred thousand crappy words on my computer, but I'm really excited to see where I can take the story from here!