Friday, June 14, 2013

First Draft Down. Numerous Rounds Of Revisions To Go.

So, I finished a novel - a momentous moment in any writer's life, no matter how many times s/he has written 'The End' (at least I suspect and hope this will always be a significant occasion).

Yet it's only a first draft and very flawed. As Earnest Hemingway once said, "the first draft of anything is shit." So it is in this case, but if Mr. Hemingway felt this way, I don't think I need to feel bad about it, either. Instead, I need to figure out what needs fixing and then make it better. 

I've already identified several things that aren't up to par. A lot of the world building is still only a thought in my head or scribbles in my notebook, because I was focused on getting the action, the plot, down on paper. The main characters' developments isn't as fleshed out as I'd like. The main antagonist is never once seen until the third to last chapter (ouch!). Several info dumps in the beginning must be handled differently. A couple of characters serve no real purpose. And, of course, it's a tad too long at a little over 110k words. 

Ergo, revisions are in order.

Which is perfect, because in November I'm attending a writing workshop that deals with exactly this topic: revisions. My plan is to spruce up this first draft, editing the most glaring flaws I mentioned above in a second, third, and maybe even fourth draft, to make it presentable for the workshop. Until then, I also plan to have the first draft of the next book under my belt, or at least most of it, say 80%. If I can match the writing pace of the last six months, that is actually quite possible. Then I'll have two novels to use my minty new revision-knowledge on, with which I will make them awesome. 

Or at least whip them into good enough shape for my beta readers. :-)