When I started editing my novel, I never thought it would take a year before I finished the second draft. I often sit and wonder what I was doing in all that time. But the only answer I have is that editing (if you want to do it right) takes longer than you plan. I always describe the second draft as being like demolishing a roughly-built house and rebuilding it from scratch. And that’s exactly what I did.
There have been many changes to the novel from the first draft to second. What changes did I make? Well, the plot is different. Before I started editing my novel, I read it and felt that my plot was too predictable. This left me feeling crap for a few weeks, but I soon bounced back when I figured out how to fix the story. So of course with a new plot, I had a lot of rewriting to do. The new plot changed the middle of the story and extended the ending (I had an extra three chapters). As well as rewriting, I had to do more some more research, and I had to further develop my characters, especially the ones that changed with the plot.
Now I have finished the second draft, I have decided to have a month’s break before I tackle the third draft (this is where you add the carpet and wallpaper). During this break, I plan to catch up on my short story editing and work on the stories for the WW2 anthology that my writing group is doing. As well as this I also want to work on my novella idea and further study playwriting. A month doesn’t seem enough, but I couldn’t leave my novel for any longer; I’m already itching to start on the third draft.
I did hope to finish my novel by the end of this year, but I feel that it might tip into 2017. However, it is important to not rush your novel (or any story). They need time to develop, and you need time to make sure your work is the best it can be. So even though I may run over my deadline, I won’t punish myself too much as long as I am working on the novel.
Writing a novel is a slow and often painful process, but you should never give up. It may take years before you see the rewards of your hard work, but I have read about (and met) many authors who never gave up and now they are living the dream. So with that in mind, I plan to keep on going until I can get my book into readers’ hands.
Keep writing, folks!
Other writing news
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the Black Country Tales Poetry reading event with my writing group to listen to local poet Elinor Cole read out her ‘Black Country Dialect’ poems. It was a good event, and we all had a fabulous time.
You can find out more about the event on our Oldbury Writing Group website: https://oldburywritinggroup.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/oldbury-writing-group-trip-black-country-tales-poetry-reading-by-elinor-cole/