I did it. I finished the first draft of my novel on April 30, 2018–I’m a little late in sharing the news! It was around 11pm as I tip-tapped the last words. When I brought my hands away from the keyboard, re-reading the last sentence for the fifty-seventh time, many different feelings passed through me: elation, anxiety, pride, and nausea to name a few.
I started this book eight years ago (but as I talk about in my prior post, more so wrote it in the past 1.5 years) and I finished it. Sure, it’s just the first draft, but I finished the story. According to Scrivener (the word processor I use and highly recommend), it’s between 628-871 pages long depending on page size. Wow. I mean, look at my Twitter storm after I had finished!
Yeah, maniac, I know. But it was an incredible feeling. The endless days of putting words down on the paper, battling the doubt that nobody would ever want to read this garbage, and making sacrifices so that I could write–all my hard work and discipline actually led me to finishing my book. It still feels weird to say that almost a month later. Sometimes I even feel a little lost since I don’t have my daily word count to hit. But man, I did it!
What are the next steps? Ripping it up. Not literally, but through the wonderful process of editing! I have a list of “early readers” but none of them will be seeing this raw ugly first draft. Someone once said that your first draft is you telling the story to yourself and the next drafts are you telling it to others. I need to chop it up, pretty it up, and make sure there’s enough character and plot development.
First things first, I’m going to be just doing a read-through of my monstrosity to make sure it flows, has a consistent tone, and that it reads right. I’m going to be using Janice Hardy’s Revising Your Novel: First Draft to Finished Draft along the way after I do my first read-through. I’m scared and excited.
Well, that was my shout-out to the world to declare that I DID IT! Thanks for reading.