Several weeks ago I posted about fighting with my decision to be a writer. I felt miserable, and I was second-guessing my ability to actually get something completed for publication. Interestingly enough, the day after that break down I looked through what I had written on my current novel and saw that I was maybe 30 to 40 pages away from completing the first draft.
I have certainly gone through some growing pains with this novel, and I think my breakdown was because I was dealing with the climactic events that will lead to the novel’s conclusion. My emotions were directly influenced by the events happening in the novel. Now that I’m looking back on it I’m not surprised that this happened.
I’ve spent the last two years working on this draft (I know, I’m a slow writer), and I think just had a moment where I realized the hardest part was almost over.
That’s the thing for me, I really don’t like writing the first draft. I tend to edit as I write, edit pieces that don’t fit later on, and when my first draft is done I’m essentially left with a very strong skeleton of what the novel will be as a whole.
Many writers talk about having too much material that they end up removing excess pages, but I’m pretty much the opposite. I’m so particular about what I put in in the first place that it ends up rather sparse at first. I need the later drafts to add the muscle and heart that will make up the final draft. Also, sorry if this metaphor for writing is a little on the macabre side.
I have a lot of free time coming up in the next couple of weeks, and I’m really looking forward to having plenty of time to really dive deep and see what’s working in this draft so that I can expand upon it in the next.
It really was like coming up for air after being underwater for a long time when I realized that this draft was almost done. I’ve struggled with it, done character revision, and changed the plot more times than I could count.
Although it seems like the hard work is finally paying off I know there will be a lot more work in the future, but at least I’m nearly finished with this first, monumental step.
Does anyone else feel like I do when they get close to finishing their first draft?