Finally! Taking a month off from writing has felt like years. I managed to get a lot done in that time, but I have definitely been itching to get my fingers to the keyboard. I’ve outlined other stories to weave throughout the main plot, created character bios for my supporting characters and jotted down additional ideas to toy around with during the editing process.
Taking a break was certainly worth-while, but boy was it tough!
So this week, I printed my entire novel, sat down with a pen and started going through it chapter by chapter. I crossed-out scenes that weren’t building or releasing tension, or felt forced and I got rid of anything that didn’t fit with things I’d learnt about the story throughout the writing process.
It was exhilarating.
It was fun.
The first chapter made me laugh and then cry. I was so proud of myself and my ability to create witty scenes laced with tension.
My second chapter felt like the worst thing I’d ever read or written. And I’ve written some crap, my friends, I have written some crap.
And so the process continued.
One novel on, I had deleted 60 pages worth of crap.
And was left with something that wasn’t quite terrible. But it’s clear that this, draft three, will not be the final draft.
While the beginning and end of the book feel like gold, the middle needs some work. I’m determined to be finished with this novel, which is already three years in the making (two of which it was hidden under my sofa), by the end of the year. I want to start sending it out to literary agents, and already have ideas for my next two books. I could definitely continue chopping and changing this story for the rest of my life. So, December is the deadline.
Akin to how I approached NaNoWriMo, I’ve created a checklist and given myself mini-deadlines. I’m planning on editing three chapters a week and am already on chapter nine. So long as I stick to the schedule, I will hopefully be ready to approach agents in the new year.
Watch this space, exciting things just might be happening.