Thoughts on Reading Through My Novel’s First Draft

My first draft chapters, bottom to top, colour coded by their revision needs

My first draft chapters, bottom to top, colour coded by their revision needs

It was like grading the world’s longest midterm paper.

Coming in at 402 pages and with all but the last two chapters having been written some ten years ago, I really had no idea what I was in for when, upon completing my first novel ever (technically my first trilogy, but I count it as one completed story), the time came to read through the entire first draft.

The age of the thing alone terrified me, for how well could a ten-year-old story possibly hold up?  I already knew going in that I’d have a fair amount of rewriting ahead of me, but the question was how much?

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Even More Thoughts on Nearing the End

No, I’m still not finished my WIP.

But honest to goodness, this last novel in my historical fiction trilogy is truly almost done.  I know I’ve written about being close before, but now I’m really close. Like, a two-digit number of pages remaining that starts with 2 (or maybe even one!) close.

When last I wrote about my WIP’s impending end, I discussed various insights that had occurred to me as I continued along this process.

Well, a new level of nearness to the end has engendered an all new set of realizations:

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Thoughts on Nearing the End

Book near the end

I should qualify this by saying I mean the end of my novel.

(Were I talking the end of my life, my thoughts would be considerably different, and if nothing else, I’d perhaps be referring back to this post about my bucket list.) Ending a novel is hard.  The fact that I’ve done it twice thus far in my writing career hasn’t made it any easier.  Perhaps this is because only once did I consciously do so since my “two-book” series-in-progress grew to three books initially without my realizing it. Continue reading

Sometimes Magic Just Works: 4 Q&As about my WIP

Ravenswing Dress - The Dark Angel Design Company, Photography - Lunaesque

The Dark Angel Design Company, photography by Lunaesque

Time to talk about my WIP again!

I never used to do this at all, as the thought of giving the dreaded “elevator pitch” makes my stomach churn like too much greasy pizza too close to bedtime.

But like anything bearing the label “dreaded”, said dread is usually lessened over time through devoting regular thought and effort to improving at the task at hand.

In other words, I need to practice pitching and promoting myself more.

Which is why, when tagged by my blog-buddy Eric J. Baker, to answer four questions about my WIP as part of the Writing Process Blog Tour, and I agreed to participate.

The four questions are thus as follows:

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Writing a Novel is Scarier Than a Bull Moose in Rut

Bull moose

Writing a novel is one of the scariest things I’ve ever attempted.

And I’ve done some scary things in my life:

  • I’ve moved to two different provinces on my own, both times having no prior friends or family present when I arrived.
  • I’ve come face-to-face with a bull moose during rutting season.
  • I’ve spend 24 straight hours in the woods on a fasting solo sit. (The fear in this isn’t possible animal encounters at night, but rather the act of sitting silently for hours with nothing to distract you but your own thoughts.)
  • I’ve risked – and received – rejection asking guys way out of my league out on dates.

Just to name a few.  As my father is fond of paraphrasing from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The brave will only die once.”

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Line By Line, Stone By (Mile)Stone

This past week, I reached another milestone in my novel-in-progress:

Page 200.

Except it’s not really my 200th page, for my story is a novel in two volumes (like how Lord of the Rings is actually a novel in three volumes rather than the trilogy it’s often erroneously termed).  The first volume of the story in draft form is 377 pages.

That means I’m technically on page 577.

The past two months has seen me achieve a number of writing milestones: my current page number; my one-year blogging anniversary on February 20; my writer’s birthday (which I actually missed) on February 10.

I’m now a five-year-old writer.

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No One Would Make a Coconut Fluoride Rinse: A writer’s frustration with finding the right words

A Distractions & Subtractions post

So, I have this sort of condition….

It’s nothing overly serious – nothing requiring medical treatment or that’s even been officially diagnosed.  More than anything, it makes for something of an odd party trick in response to yet another game folks may play at a party.

The blindfolded, guess-what-food-I’ve-just-put-in-your-mouth game.

Yes, this does, indeed, relate to writing.  Everything does with me, dontcha know?

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