So, me posting consistently every week lasted long… sorry about that, I needed to clear my head.
I feel like I’m drowning in good advice. It’s information I’m actively searching for, no one is pushing it down my throat. I’m the one reading blogs and articles about writing, publishing, self-publishing and the whole process.
But there’s so much of it, and even though most of what I’ve read is fairly consistent in the how’s and why’s, it’s making my head spin, because it’s so…
You know what I mean?
It’s so focused, so ambitious and I’m sitting here like…
It’s all: get a blog, write every day for a year, build your following, be interesting, write about important stuff that never becomes irrelevant, and oh yeah, write a perfect book. BAM, POW, BAM
It made my head spin, and I felt so overwhelmed I froze up and didn’t writing anything, not here and not on my story. So, when I realized what was happening, I decided I needed to take a step back, breathe and finish the first draft.
I felt that if I could finish that tedious process and actually have one whole manuscript of an entirely original story, I’d feel a little less intimidated, and somewhat more confident.
I finally managed to do that late last night. The last part of the story was a real struggle to get through.
One, because it was the least polished part of the story. A weakness of mine is that I’m not as meticulous with editing and polishing the end of a story, as I am with the beginning. It’s to be expected I guess, it’s kind of obvious that you’ll spend more time with your first chapters than your last. But I need to get better at keeping my motivation and concentration up through the entire writing and editing process.
Two, I had previously rearranged the timeline I needed to fix the continuity problem that created.
Three, the story already had plot holes, and I needed to fix them.
The hardest part was that I completely removed a few scenes revolving a plot point I really liked. But I felt with the new parts I had added while fixing those plotholes, there was too much happening. During the rewrite, there’s been a shift of focus on the characters and their motivations, how I portray their character growth. The plot felt crowded, and I wanted to make it more streamlined. As much as I love wish-fulfillment, there’s only so much of it you can add before it damages the believability of a story. T
That, however, did not mean it was easy to take out something I felt very strongly about, but I do believe the story will read better without it.
So, the first draft is done! I have a complete, somewhat cohesive, story to work from. It’s nowhere near finished of course, but I feel like I know my characters now, I’m happy with who they are, their respective place in the story and what I want the plot to be. I have a good foundation, now I just have to turn it into a house people want to live in, or you know, rent for a day or two. Easy.
So, as it stands now, this is where the story is at:
Word count: 86.226
Number of words removed: Not sure, but I guess about 15K
Number of new words added: Again, not sure but around 30-35K
MY plan for the second draft is to:
- Tighten the writing; take out unnecessary words and make it a smoother read.
- Fix any inconsistencies in the plot and/or characters.
- Make sure that the story reads cohesively and has a comfortable pacing.
- Continue to improve on the plot and/or the characters.
I plan that this should take no more than two months, but of course, that depends on some things that are out of my control. When the second draft is finished, I hope to be able to find a good number of people to test read the story and give me feedback on what they think works and what doesn’t work before I tackle the third draft.
But, that’s a few months away, for now, I’m going to work on this second draft, keep reading good advice and try to remember there is nothing to freak out about. That I’m doing all this for fun and it’s ok that I don’t know what I want yet. Right now, all I want is to turn this story into the best version I’m capable of, then I’ll decide how to go forward.
Until next time,