First draft DONE
Yesterday, after one last marathon of a writing session, I finished the first draft of my WIP. This is a story I’ve been trying to write in some form or other for a good three years, so it’s safe to say that this has been a long time in coming. Planning for the present novel started around a year ago, though the actual writing only begun in July.
Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty chuffed with myself right now. In fact, there’s no “pretty” about it. I spent much of last night sitting in a kind of self-satisfied haze, wherein I was a complete and utter genius simply for having gotten this far. I imagined the 100% pure awesomeness that was sure to be the final product, all the while lounging in my computer chair and listening to a choice selection of videogame credits soundtracks (no, really). Life was fantastic, and could only get better still. I was done.
At some point, however, I’m going to have face up to my actual situation.
What I have on my hands is a first draft. First drafts tend to be utterly dire; mine is no exception. It is a mess of sketchy worldbuilding, sloppy writing and ropy pacing. Furthermore, enough details change midway through to leave anyone but myself hopelessly confused with the story’s goings on. I clearly, then, have a lot of work ahead of me before I can truly call this project finished.
Even more clearly, I need a plan of action.
Firstly, I’m going to take a short break form writing altogether. This could last for anything from a couple days to several weeks. Next, I’m going to give myself some time to work on other, smaller writing projects. I’ll let myself do a bit of planning and research for the novel’s next draft, but I won’t actually let myself write that draft. For that matter, I’m not even going to let myself read my first draft for the first little well. My goal here is to distance myself from my work: if I stay too attached to words I already have on the page, then I won’t thorough enough about editing or rewriting.
The focus of my next draft will be on finalizing my plot and getting my story into a coherent format; this is something I hope will not be necessary in future projects, based on what I’ve learned from working on this one. This will also be the draft in which I finalize the exact rules and aesthetic of the novel’s setting. Afterwards, later drafts will be more focused on the writing itself: characterizations, descriptions, dialogue, and so on.
It’s going to be a wild and wooly ride, in all likelihood, but I just know I’ll see this through to the end. I’ve come too far not to, at this point.
Oh, and finally:
Got any “first draft” experiences to share? Started any redrafts or new projects lately? Feel free to share down below!