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Finishing The First Draft

Phew! I've finally finished the first draft of my novel. There's nothing quite like writing 'THE END', it's like finishing a fantastic book with the best ending you could imagine, or having a thirst-quenching drink after a long, tough walk. I have finished an entire draft of a book - I have to keep saying it because if I'm honest I don't quite believe it!




Taking a break


So I've read, and I've been told, that taking a short break from your draft when you've finished is a good idea. You need to step away for a time to get the story out of your head so you can see your work in a new light when you return. That's what I'm doing. I'm going to take a short break from writing (just the novel!) so that when I start the editing phase I'm in a good position to judge the work and notice all the plot holes I've left gaping.



finishing-the-first-draft-cheer


Don't worry, I won't stop writing altogether. There's still going to be regular updates on here, including a new flash fiction piece on Thursday this week. I love writing, even if it's just a message to a friend the words just seem to flow and before I know it the words have taken control and there's an essay staring back at me.



About the First Draft


I had been working on the first draft of my novel for a long time. The original idea for the story came to me years ago and I started writing, but as with anything life took over and the novel got left behind. Recently I decided to get back to it, writing has always been a part of my life and it's what makes me happy, so I hunted for the file with the partially written novel and got started. It's taken me almost six months to finish and it was a slog at times, but I got there in the end.





I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shovelling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.

Shannon Hale





Getting the story onto paper (albeit digitally) is the most important thing. Once there are words on the page they can be changed, expanded, or even deleted if necessary, but having them there in the first place gives me something to work with. I'm looking forward to adding complexities where they're needed and changing plot lines if necessary. I've got my tools at the ready (including my coffee machine!) and I'm eager to get started - but I won't. I'm making myself take that break.



Research


During the time I've been working on the novel there's been a lot of research. My reference books pile has grown, my writing aid pile has grown, and thankfully so has my knowledge. I've read thousands of words, I've spoken to people to learn about jobs, and I've read true crime cases. It's all useful and will no doubt help me in making my story more coherent and entertaining.


finishing-the-first-draft-research



Editing


After my break the fun begins. I take my finished draft and pull it apart bit by bit. I take chapters and read them, change words, phrases, or delete sections, and I'll probably add some stuff too. I'm looking forward to the next stage.





Creativity takes courage.

Henri Matisse





So there you go - a milestone in my journey to becoming an author. It's one I wasn't sure I'd reach, but I did it, and the next stage will no doubt be harder, but I'm looking forward to it anyway.



Have you achieved something recently?

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