The first draft of Book (yet to be titled) Three saw its completion last week. There was a small hiatus over the holiday period just because it was a slightly difficult time to sit down and focus on the story but I managed to complete it… albeit three whole months later… Typing those last few words was in some ways euphoric – that might sound a little extreme and maybe it’s just a ‘writer-thing,’ but it was though my fingertips exuded pure unadulterated joy at completing that final sentence.
Things I’ve learned from writing this book:
– I need to make a list of ALL characters names, even the inferior ones that may only crop up once throughout the plot. I started calling a secondary character a completely different name halfway through. I wish I knew why, but I figure my brain likes to keep me on my toes, you know – make sure I’m paying attention.
– Don’t complicate things. This will be something that I’ll tackle in the revisions as currently the plot kinda swings around in a few different directions and there’s a lot of exposition in the end which I was trying to avoid.
– Take breaks. This needs no further explanation. Writing can be sometimes all-consuming.
– You’re gonna hate your story. You’ll love it at first. Then you’ll reach the point where you have written forty thousand words or so, you’ll get cold feet and you’ll tell yourself that your writing is as good as a frying pan in the North Pole. The trick (as with anything) is just to keep going. When you get to that point of turning back, you must tell yourself that you gotten so far so you might as well finish it. Your opinions change and sometimes, you might even find a tiny nugget of gold amongst the rubble.
– Realise that the first draft will never be read by anyone; it’s merely the act of getting it on the page. Corrections/revisions/edits will come later on, so panicking that something isn’t quite right before you’ve completed the initial draft is futile. I believe it was Hemingway that said, “the first draft of anything is shit.” I think that says it all.
The draft has been formatted and neatened up before copies were saved in every conceivable place and now I will let it sit for a couple of weeks. Allowing my brain to escape that world for a while so I can come back to it fresh and ready to edit and revise the hell out of it. Strange, as it was only this time last year that I was finishing up “The Corpse Rooms” – It’s been quite the year!