Tuesday, December 23, 2014

That Time I Finished My First Draft

Now what? After close to a year of living and breathing with these characters, I have finally finished the first draft of my (spoilers ahead) Young Adult, SciFi novel. At just under 65K words, I feel pretty good. From what I know, that's pretty much the "sweet-spot" for word count when it comes to YA SciFi, and I didn't even try to hit it. I wasn't constantly checking my WC, it's just where the story ended. I let it happen. Organically as they say. Throughout the process, people told me to "just finish it" and to "just get it done". Well... I did that. I kept on, even when I wanted to stop keeping on, and I finished. It wasn't always pretty (often wasn't), but the story is down, ready to be molded into something much more. It feels great.

Now what?

I've read a lot of articles, many from published authors, regarding this very topic. Almost all of them suggest that the best thing to do is to step away from your WIP for a month or two, maybe more, and then return to your baby with fresh eyes. It'll be as if you're reading it for the first time, they say. Honestly, that sounds a helluva lot easier than I know it'll be.

I've been with this thing almost every day since about this time last year. I've done a fantastic job making it a part of my daily routine. Even if I was only able to write for five minutes on a given day, I would make sure it'd happen. On the busiest of busy days, I'd find time. So, what now? Just step away? I can't imagine anything more difficult for a creature of habit like myself. It's become an ingrained routine.

What if I step away and then can't find my way back? It's a legitimate concern. Am I the only one who has thought of this? What if I lose my touch, man?

What if I'm forever remembered as "That-Guy-Who-Wrote-a-First-Draft-and-Then-Never-Got-Back-to-It?"

I don't think I'd ever be able to forgive myself.

BUT, I will step aside. I will heed your wonderful advice, oh wise authors of books past. I will try and do something else.

I'll let you know how successful this all is. If I was a betting man... I'd give me a week. I should be able to stay away from it at least that long, right?


Find me on twitter, sharing my experiences writing my book, @RimerTom

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