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Monday, 28 October 2013

First Draft Finished, Looking Forward

I don't know if the length of time it's taken for me to finish this latest first draft is a record for me. I first mentioned it back in February when the protagonist came into my head and refused to leave. Then I had to break off to focus on PhD work. In May I explained that I was finding it a difficult story to work on so I was leaving it be for a bit. Then in June I got a little side-tracked again. I started another first draft and poor Izzy got pushed to the back of the queue again. However, in my blog post last month detailing what I need to do before 2013 is out, I made Izzy a priority. Knuckling down, I finally managed to draw it to a conclusion, a decent chunk being written in the last four days.

My first drafts never have large word counts. Maybe it's a consequence of coming by half of them through NaNoWriMo but once they slip over 50,000 words I feel like that's a reasonable basis for revision. Izzy's no different, coming in at just over 52,000. Even with the glow of completing the first draft still present, I'm aware of how much has to be done to it. But loving the character is a good start in that respect. I didn't betray her with her ending in the first draft and I won't betray her in the rewrite. But when will that happen?

Let's put my projects in order of importance (here's an old list of their status):
  • Next up is my NaNoWriMo novel, labelled 'Carys' after my habit of protagonist titles until inspiration strikes. I hate titles. 
  • After that, I would like to finish 'Kathy' before 2014. 
  • I need to do rewrites on 'Danni'. Final, final rewrites. I've added to this extensively in the last year, bringing in material from a discarded first draft and generally beefing it up a little. I'm now working on dialogue, atmosphere and word choice, possibly the hardest things to do!
  • Then comes 'Liz'. To say I consider this the finest first draft I ever wrote, rewriting it is proving to be damn difficult. I got about a fifth of the way through the rewrite before halting a few months ago. 
  • I think then that 'Lauren' deserves her chance, though this one is going to become an ensemble novel. I've been playing with these characters since I was sixteen and they need yet another realignment. I'll get them right someday.
  • After that I should probably have a crack at my NaNoWriMo novel from last year - 'Vic'. I've got a solid idea for the rewrite of this to make it darker than it already was. 
  • Then 'Max'. I know how I want the rewrite of this to pan out but the thought of writing it makes me feel queasy. 
  • Finally, 'Lily'. I have no idea what I'm going to do with her or whether I should do anything at all. 
Of course, writing is my secondary concern now. My PhD takes priority. And, if you listen carefully, you can hear me growling with frustration. Is it any wonder I feel like poor Veronica from In the Good Old Summertime?


Karen Naylor said...

Sounds like you have used NaNoWriMo to great advantage. This is my third year and I hope to win this time :)

CharmedLassie said...

I'm sure a little friendly competition could help! Good luck this time.