Hi everyone! I’m back.
Whether you’ve missed me or not, it is good to be getting back into the Blogosphere.
It has been roughly six months since I last posted anything on here, and there has been a very good reason for that: I have been diligently working away on the first draft of my first novel. Some of you may recall that around this time last year, I set myself the challenge of completing my manuscript by June 2019. It started off well, but as so often happens, life (and by ‘life’ I mean work, and writing fatigue, and the final season of Game of Thrones, and Netflix) got in the way.
Still, I was determined to see it through and, at the very least, enter 2020 with a completed draft.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to announce that…
I DID IT!
The first draft is finished as of 1:00am (yes, AM!) on Saturday 26th October 2019. It stands at 347 pages (A4), 152,109 words, and about as many typos.
Anyone who has ever written a novel (and particularly those who have toiled for a long time to do so) will tell you it is an immensely satisfying feeling to complete a draft.
And I don’t just mean the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing something that I have been working on for a number of years (more on that side of things next week).
I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to find that the end of the novel itself left me with a feeling of closure, not just for myself but also for my characters. I felt I had led them (or perhaps more accurately followed them) to the right place and that this was a suitable point for us to part ways.
Now, the irony is not lost on me that I am here today, on 1st November 2019, talking about finishing my novel, when many writers around the world are just starting theirs; taking part in NaNoWriMo 2019. For anyone reading this who is taking part in NaNoWriMo, either for the first time or as a seasoned veteran, or who is currently working on their first novel, the only advice I can give you is DON’T GIVE UP!
It will seem like a completely insurmountable task at times. I have written on here several times about my own struggles with writer’s block, self-motivation, and even realising my own shortcomings in relation to things like characterisation. If you ever need convincing that you are not along in your struggle as a writer, check out some of the articles in Turning Ideas Into Words in the menu above.
Whatever your struggles are as a writer, please believe me when I say that ‘The End’ is definitely worth getting to.
Of course, the first draft isn’t the ultimate end of a manuscript’s journey on its way to becoming a book.
So what’s next?
Well, for me and my first draft, the next few weeks will be a break. That also means I won’t be taking part in NaNoWriMo again this year, but will be offering support and enthusiasm from the sidelines for anyone who is taking part. Check the link at the end of this post for my tips on surviving NaNoWriMo, and also follow me on Twitter @RachFarrimond for a daily dose of encouragement!
I intend to let my book simmer for a little while. More than anything, this is to let my brain rest for a bit (and give me more time for things like blogging and working on other projects). It is also a good idea, or so I have been told by other writers, not to jump straight into editing/re-drafting without allowing a bit of breathing space first.
After that, the first round of editing will begin. It is my intention to go down the traditional publishing route (again, more on that in a couple of weeks) and I want to make sure that when I do get to the querying stage, my manuscript is in its best shape possible. This will mean several rounds of editing before I even think about drafting a letter to Agents/Publishers, and will also entail giving the book to several beta readers for feedback.
As I have posted quite a bit on here about my planning stages (again, see Turning Ideas Into Words in the menu above) I will also share my progress with the editing stages and let you know what techniques I find helpful, and I’ll let you know how I get on with querying Agents when I get to that part.
Basically, I’ll take you with me every step of the way!
In the meantime, happy reading everyone! And happy writing!
Taking in part in NaNoWriMo 2019? Here are my tips for making it through to 30th November with a shred of sanity intact!