Today I am crossing the finish line, half way to the end of writing a novel. I am adding the last few pages to my 170-page first draft of the romance novel I am writing.
This is a HUGE milestone, even though I am actually about half way though the process it takes to get it to market. It’s such a big deal because this is the step most (hopeful) writers never make it to. The first draft is the basic framework, the story, full of weak points, grammatical errors, loose ends, etc. Somewhere between a great idea and a full framework is where a huge number of authors get lost. And I completely understand why. Sitting around, playing out make believe scenarios in your head, takes time. That is time when it looks like you are doing nothing, and it might go nowhere, and there are a thousand other things to do around your house that call out to you. I would guess that there are many potential authors with very clean closets and drawers. When the writing frustrates you, it is often easier to give in to those tasks.
|Hemmingway – “The first draft of everything is shit.”|
So, I have the frame work on paper, now what? I had to look online, but luckily someone (lots of people) have done this before me and, being writers, they wrote about it! Next, I will fix all those grammatical errors, the ones that I can see, and I will analyze my work for weak points, and illogical story lines, and superfluous characters, and sub plots that go nowhere. Once I complete that, I have to get brave, really brave, and show my work to others. I plan to have around 10-15 readers help me look for more grammatical errors, lame story elements, etc. Then I fix/rewrite again. Then (and it’s hard to see this far into the future) I will look for an agent. OK, we’ll stop there. . . for now. Sometime next year I will let you know when I get to that step and the results.
One final thing I have to do this week is brace myself for the let down. It is inevitable and it is coming. I’ve spent the past two years (loosely) and 6 months (intensely) working on this story. I have been living with these characters and we have had a blast. I don’t have to completely let them go yet, we still have work to do, but for me, this is like finishing reading a book. The story is over. I know the ending. It was a fantastic ride and, in a way, I don’t want to be here. (Yet another reason so many don’t get through that first draft).
I’m telling all of you this today so I can celebrate, but also so that I am accountable. So that someone might ask me how it’s going or where I’m at in the process. Then I will hopefully get myself back in gear if I have fallen out.
Many factors are going to make this next step more challenging (but a I love a good challenge). This Friday I officially go back to my part-time job after several months off. The holidays are coming (run away!), and there is always extra work involved in them. My parenting-partner-in-crime also just got super busy so I will be the lone Chick in Charge more often than not.
OK, enough about later this week and beyond. TODAY is about celebration. Today is a big, woo hoo, I did it! Thank you all for being a part of it with me. Woo Hoo!!!!