It’s Not Done Yet

It took eight days. Eighteen hours, fifteen minutes of writing time. It’s just over 42,000 words long. But the rough draft is done.

The rough draft of what? Well, we can get to that in about a year, maybe.

But this is the important part: the act of raw creation is complete. Now comes the truly grueling part.

Time to revise.

So last week I talked a bit about how I’m attempting to write faster. And I did. Oh, I did. I wrote so fast for this particular project. That’s good. Getting my speed up will help. I used an outline I’d already created and went zoom.

That’s a technical writing term. Go zoom.

But this manuscript isn’t ready for anyone to see but me. It’s rough.

The next step will be going through and fixing the things that I already know need fixing. For instance, the climax ends up hinging on the main character knowing something… which he has no reason to know. So in this revision, I need to make sure he learns this particular thing earlier in the story. Another character grew in importance in the last half, which means I need to at least seed her importance in the first half. These are all large changes that really won’t take a lot of work to fix, but will take work.

And once I’m done with that revision… oh, it’s still not ready for the public.

Depending how long it takes for my editor to have time to go through the manuscript, I’ll either let it sit there until she looks at it, or give it one more go-through. Either way, the first person besides me to see the story will be my editor.

She’ll do something that’s called a developmental edit. She’ll take a look and identify what scenes need to be changed, what’s missing, do the characters make sense, have I spent too long inside a character’s head… basically, she’ll look at the big-picture stuff. There won’t be a lot of little tinkering. The little tinkering doesn’t matter if the big picture doesn’t work!

And then it’s back to me to fix whatever she catches. Some writers don’t trust their editors, which is frustrating. Editors really want your work to be better than it is. And my editor? I trust her. I’m married to her! Since I trust her, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I follow whatever she’s suggested. Every once in a while I’ll disagree, but that’s very rare!

After I go through another draft, then it’s back to the editor for a line edit. Now it’s a line-by-line, “Does this work?” She’ll look at dialogue and phrasing.

And then I get another go-through based on her comments!

Finally it goes back to her for a proofread, assuming that there’s no more big things to do.

So yes. I did a lot of work in the last week or so. A novel rough drafted in a mere eight days is definitely a record for me! But it’s got a long way to go before you get to even hear what it’s about, much less before we get to really put it out there in public.

But next week you get to hear about a different project… a pretty big one that I’m really excited for.

Next week…

Published by Jon

Jon lives in Kentucky with his wife and an insanity of children. (A group of children is called an insanity. Trust me.)

5 thoughts on “It’s Not Done Yet

  1. Drafting a novel in eight days isn’t just a record, but it’s an amazing one! More power to you. And yes, I can totally relate to feeling meh about the revision part. Not my favourite part of the writing process. Good luck with your WIP!

    Liked by 1 person

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