From drafts to novels.
About three months ago I finished the first draft of my first novel and it felt good. It took me seven months to write that draft of roughly 174,000 words and I was proud of myself. I am proud of myself. According to common knowledge, I accomplished something that many people don’t, and just by knowing that I can feel a little tickle right behind my brain. It’s pretty weird.
“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.”
— Terry Prachett
Anyway, once I finished that first draft I decided to let it rest for a while to write something else. It was another draft of an idea that I had; an idea that I really liked and wanted to get on paper. So once the first draft of that first novel was done, I concentrated on finishing up this first draft of my second novel.
This past Monday, I finished that first draft of my second novel, and once again, it felt good. This one took me exactly six months: From January 18th to August 18th. It’s a lot shorter than the first one I wrote with just 80,000 words, and I plan to make it even shorter so in the end it’ll sit around 70K.
So now that I have two first drafts down, I’m going back to the first one and I’m gonna polish it till it shines brighter than a shard of glass gleaming in the sun. 174,000 words is just too much, and I know that there is a lot of crap in there that needs to be deleted from existence. It’ll be tough to revise such a massive monster, but by working hard and not giving up, I will see that number decrease and the story will pop up like a cobra from a vase.
Since I’m a bit of a multi-tasker, I’m also going to start the first draft of my third novel idea. This one is tough because of the style I’m choosing to write it in, but I’m sure I can get something decent at the end. But even though I’m starting to write this third first draft, I’m mainly gonna work on revising my first novel because I can’t let it sit there forever. It’s practically shouting at me to finish it and chuck it out to the world.
“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” — Shannon Hale
So, yeah. It feels weird to already have two first drafts finished. I’m excited because now that my head took it’s nap from my first story, I can go back to it and see what I can do to make it better. The plot in that first novel is pretty unique in my eyes, so I’m hoping that one day my hard work can meet your eyes too. After all, that’s why I’m writing these drafts: I want to cook them into full novels so you can feast your eyes, and hopefully, feel starved for more.