Thoughts On The End Of A Draft

Approximately ten minutes ago, I wrote the 102,993rd word of the current draft of my novel, and then I stopped writing. I had reached the end of the last planned scene. It was done. The second full rewrite of my novel is finished!

Cue excited screeching and maniacal laughter!

Before I talk any more about this novel, here’s a quick history of it: I came up with the idea back in the summer of 2012, and within only a couple of weeks had started writing it. I spent a month writing 41,000 words, which didn’t even get me halfway through my storyline, before I gave up. Over the next two years, I kept trying to write this story, but every attempt ended early. Then, in summer 2014, I completed the first draft! It was 85,000 words long. I started editing, but kept changing my plot and losing motivation, and started over several more times. I started the current rewrite earlier this year, in July. I wrote 50,000 words that month, and have kept writing ever since. Sure, I wanted to write more, and write faster, but now I’ve finally gotten it done!

I am so proud of myself to have done this! Of all the versions I’ve written, this is definitely the one I feel most pleased with. The plot is finally starting to come together! This is the closest I’ve come to the sort of novel I’ve had in mind all this time. Plus, this is the most I’ve ever written for one project. It certainly feels like a huge achievement!

I’m also proud of myself because there was a time when none of my stories ever got finished. I always dreamed of being a published author as a child, but I never got much further than drawing a cover and writing the first page. Obviously, I have not yet realised that dream, but I am a lot closer than I was. Excluding short stories, I can count the number of projects I’ve ever finished on one hand.

Of course, it is far from perfect. Right now, that doesn’t seem like too much of a problem; I’m too swept up in the excitement of having finished a draft to think of my novel as anything but sparkly and beautiful. (Also I absolutely loved writing the last scene, from the perspective of my antagonists – IT WAS SO MUCH FUN – so that’s definitely contributing to how giddy I am.)

There are some edits that I know will need doing, before I even read through it. I realised a few months ago that my characterisation wasn’t up to scratch, and there’s also a scene that I completely changed halfway through, so I need to delete the beginning of that. On top of that, I’m pretty sure my chapters are a complete mess, so I’ll be rearranging some scenes too.

I’ll give the whole thing a read through and make a list of what else needs changing. Mostly, I think it’ll be little details that I forgot about at the time and need to change or add in. After that, I’ll be starting to look for critique partners! I am so excited to get this story polished and fit for humans to read and enjoy – and hopefully be as excited about as I am!

And I think it’s about time to start thinking about the sequel too! Previously, I had planned for this to be a trilogy, but now I’m leaning more towards a duology. I’m going to let a few close friends – my mum and my boyfriend, for example – read this draft so that I can then discuss my sequel ideas with them and they’ll have at least some notion of what I’m talking about. I’m not entirely sure yet where this story is going to go in the end, but I can’t wait to find out!

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