The first draft of the novel is done. It’s been a hard slog – at times painful, at times enjoyable – but it’s done. There’s still a long way to go – there’s lots of editing and redrafting to do – so I’m not celebrating just yet. Well, not properly. I have lots of work ahead including the three REs – research, restructuring and rewriting. As for research, I did some before but now I know what the story is I know what I need to get more information on; restructuring – lots of moving things about, putting characters into the past who are in the present, and so on; rewriting – adding words, taking words away (the delightful ‘kill your darlings’ time), improving or smoothing over what is already there (sanding away any words that snag). As has been said many times before by other writers – writing is editing. But when you’re dealing with a novel-sized beast rather than a short story-sized one, it’s a bit more daunting, mainly because there can be ramifications to your edits (as with the butterfly effect – the theorised flapping of the butterfly’s wings leading to the possible formation of hurricanes). But before all of that a bit of distance, a bit of down time and then… back in for the second round.

3 thoughts on “Phew…

  1. A. J. Ashworth

    Thanks, Joanna. Yes, after initially feeling flat about finishing the first draft I’m now starting to feel excited about the challenge of editing. It sounds as if it went well for you! Best of luck for the next stage.

  2. Joanna

    Congratulations on reaching this stage and best of luck with the next. I think it’s a really good idea to have a break from it first. I was stunned by how many changes I wanted to make once I looked at it ‘cold’.
    I found the restructuring and rewriting really enjoyable. At times I felt empowered by the fact that my novel was essentially written and I was at this marvellous stage of looking at it in greater depth and detail, and I loved the intense rewriting, sometimes several times over, of selected chapters and scenes, then piecing it all back together.
    Let us know how you get on and enjoy every minute!

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