First draft finished!

Hi all


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Robert M Derry

Full Member
Nov 28, 2018
So, I've just finished the first draft of my second novel and it feels strange...

In a way it's not as satisfying as I thought it would be, probably because I know there's a lot of editing to do, but it's nice to know that I'm over the first hurdle.

It now has to go away for a few weeks/months so I can do an objective 2nd draft and I'm looking forward to starting my interim project, which may turn out to be my third novel.

Still, it's a little sad to put the second novel away.

How do you feel at the end of a first draft? Sad? Elated? Depressed? Indifferent?
Do you want the clean version - or the crass?
Clean = relieved, empty, lighter.
Crass = [toilet humour] now that I've dumped that load ...

Leaving it to sit for a while though is like walking along the beach in a thunderstorm - and it's an amazing feeling. Going through all the things I missed while writing - is that a motif? Have I used it in the right places? Can I make it mean more to the character and to the theme? ETC.
Knowing that the first draft is the completed pool, now I have the job I love most - making it full of water, putting in a diving board (or six), a few steps on each end, a filter system, a few bits of garden and fencing, etc. etc. etc.
The first draft is the hole in the ground. It's dug, but the real work, the stuff that shows the potential, is now in the offing ... and it will be good.

Congrats! I have a hat around here somewhere, it's the 'critical observer' hat - you'll need that one for the first read-through ...
When I finished my first draft of my novel which is also my first I thought I had written a book and that was it. Then I started learning about writing and the more I learnt the more I understood how bad my first draft was. So my initial feeling was joy at finishing which turned to almost despair. Almost a year later I am in touching distance of saying I have made my book as good as I can and now it is time for a professional edit.
I admire your ability to walk away from your WIP and let it rest. A great idea but one I cannot implement. I was once advised to take a step back for a month or so and could see the sense in it but lasted three days. It's my nature I guess.
Well done on getting to a first 'end' and good luck getting to the second, third or even fourth?? :)
Whoop! Great achievement, well done!

Remember what Joyce Carol Oates said: First drafts are hell. Final drafts, paradise.

Now leave it on ice for a while. If you want to keep your writing muscles exercise, maybe have a go at some flash fiction, some free-writing exercises etc. Or stop writing completely for a bit and read loads of other people's books. Or take up taekwondo. Whatever.

Then in a couple of months or so's time you'll be ready to dive back in with fresh eyes and make it even better.

For the moment, have a party. :)
Yep, definitely an achievement, no matter how much editing and rewriting it may need. Well done! And well done too for having the discipline to put it aside for a wee while – I'm not so good at that. I usually have coffee and cake with a writing buddy to celebrate (like, Patisserie Valerie cake, nothing less), give myself a pat on the back... and then a kick on the arse to get back into it and start honing, nipping, tucking, tightening, chucking out whole swathes of the Seven Kingdoms, a few fiefdoms, and a couple of darlings that need murdering. Oh, editing is such fun. :) For now, enjoy the coffee and cake – or whatever equivalent you choose.:clinking-glasses::clinking-glasses:
Congratulations! I always feel good when I finish a first draft of a novel. Usually, there's another project waiting impatiently in the wings, so after an hour or so of celebratory non-writing (usually gardening, or maybe reading something for fun, or going for a walk), I dive into the next thing on the list while I let the first one settle for a while. Always nice to have a few weeks of a shiny new idea before diving into the hard labour of editing.
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Hi all