Remember last week when I wrote a post about how I was almost finished the first draft of my WIP?
Well, the seemingly impossible has happened.
(Yes, that did deserve all capitals.)
I typed the last word of my novel last night. (For the curious, that word was “do”.)
In total, the first draft is 88,760 words. That works out to 326 pages. If you’re like many non-writers, that doesn’t mean much to you. So if you’d like an idea of what that means in real terms, grab a handy paperback book and open it to page 326.
That’s how big my novel is.
Before you ask…
No, you can’t read it.
I still have a LOT of work to do before my novel is finished, and even a lot of work to do before I’ll willingly hand it over to beta readers. So, what happens now?
My plan goes something like this:
- Take a break for a few days. Because wine. And chocolate. And the accolades of my friends and family.
- Because I’m a pantser rather than a plotter, a lot of story elements actually changed during the writing process. I significantly changed the backstory of my protagonist at about 35,000 words. I significantly changed the motivations of the antagonist at about 40,000 words. I changed the setting at 50,000 words and the season at 65,000 words. So a lot of the early part of the story is, shall we say, inconsistent with the last half. So my second step is to address this.
- I’ll read through the first half, making notes about structural and character changes that need to happen.
- I’m not going to pay any attention to word usage, spelling, grammar, etc during this.
- Then I’ll step into the story and make the changes I’ve highlighted.
- Finally, I’ll make the relevant changes to setting and season where necessary for the continuity of the story. (But without getting bogged down in adding description.)
- Then it will be time to hand it over to my alpha readers and ask for feedback on the story, structure, and characters.
I don’t know how long it will take for my alpha readers to give me their feedback, but I don’t plan on touching this novel again until 2-3 months has passed from the time I hand it over. Then there’s a round of edits, beta reading, more edits, and possibly more beta reading. But I’ll think about all that later.
So what am I going to do during the upcoming 2-3 months?
I’m glad you asked.
You see, I have this great idea for a novel…