I stand tall. I call out – ‘Finished the first full draft’ to family, social media, and the universe.
1.What does it feel like?
A shape from a plan has become – characters engaged with challenges that mean something to them and to me. They are in world on a page and now that it is there I can shape it more through the editing process.
2. How did I arrive here?
By not once giving up.
By not panicking when I needed thinking and day dreaming breaks for things that didn’t feel quite right yet.
By doing more research when needed, but not being side tracked by it.
By preparing better before beginning and having excellent mentoring from Share Your Story in that process.
By using all the skills built up over years from courses, studies, conferences, university and life.
By pushing through the pain barrier when writing seemed tough and balancing that with having a rest when I felt my heart would break.
By hibernating from some other usual tasks.
By visiting dear friends for short bursts of time.
By staying focused and having clear goals.
By not leaving my writing for more than three days running.
3. Is it finished really?
Well of course not, there are edits to go. I resisted doing too many on the first draft. I have learnt to relish the editing process and will use it to refine anything that needs it, and ensure the scenes are just right.
I did some restructuring as I went and there was a major overhaul when I reached the mid way point, as my characrters indicated that my first plan wasn’t quite working for them and they wanted me to realise that before the end of the first draft.
4. What now?
Editing! I want to do one round of edits for myself before I rest and give it to my writing mentor.
Then after she has gone over it I will go to my first beta readers for their feedback.
Then taking all the feedback I will do a second round of edits.
5. And then?
I will begin submitting probably through attending conferences and submitting first chapters.
Maybe through entering first manuscript prizes.
And whilst all that is happening I will begin a new novel. Just in case this is not the one, but you know the ‘hide in the bottom drawer, or the cloud,’ practice one.
I hope it is the one. I gave it my heart, tears, time and all the effort I could.
Now I can say, I completed a full first draft.
I can create beyond the beautiful art form of poetry which I will always love!
May it reach the world now it is out of my head.
May it be blessed with readers!
May it lead me to write more novels.
All the best to you if you are currently drafting or redrafting.
By June Perkins