View Full Version : Draft (at last) of my first novel!

04-18-2014, 08:57 AM
I wrote a novella before but we're not going to count that.

I finally wrote the vital "the end" of my first novel (streamers, high pitched screaming!)

It took me ten months and ended up at 109k words, much longer than I intended.

Now a lot of my friends are asking to read through it. I'm revising now but this will take a long time, and I've already been promising giving the draft to them for a while. Now I don't know at what point I want to give the draft out.

Plus I've been going through piles of titles and ideas for revision. It's so much work it can be overwhelming, especially when I can't tell what I'm doing right.

So hurray! But also, if anyone has advice for me at this stage, as a young writer with not much of an idea what he's doing, I would be much obliged.

04-18-2014, 09:06 AM
Oh, congratulations! That's really something to celebrate! :partyguy:

I would advise holding off on showing it round yet - you're going to need your readers later and it's very hard to get people to read an unpubbed MS more than once. But I would also say - send out a message to everyone you know that you've finished this stage, and that you're up for a party!

ETA: Don't worry too much about titles. The right one will come, if not to you then to someone else who will pass it on. And don't rush into revisions today - you deserve a moment to say Wow!! I did it!!

It's quite an achievement, it really is.

:e2flowers <- These are for you.

Chris P
04-18-2014, 10:07 AM
Awesome! It's a great feeling, isn't it?

And I agree with Mccardy to hold off on passing it around. It's hard enough to get people read an unpublished novel even once, from my experience.

But do something nice this weekend to celebrate.

04-18-2014, 11:22 AM
Yes! Celebrations are definitely in order!:hooray:

I will just echo Mccardy. Just focus on editing and stuff right now. In my experience, 99% of the people who say they want to read it are just saying that to be supportive. (Which is nice of them, but they wouldn't actually read it.) I've been writing for most of my life, and I can count of one hand the number of non-writing friends and family members that have read more than a page of one of my stories.

About titles, what I like to do is write down some of the main themes of my story and then just free-write a bunch of titles without thinking about it too much. You get a lot of hilarious crap, but sometimes you find something awesome in the pile, too. ^_^

04-18-2014, 01:26 PM
Well done that's brilliant!

04-18-2014, 06:05 PM
CGs -- this is one of the biggest steps forward!

I'm with the revise-first, get-readers-second camp. My own method of revision is to start with the big picture items, structure and plot and character arcs, leaving the fine-tuning and polishing of the prose itself for subsequent drafts.

A good book to read beforehand is Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne and King. It even has cartoons by the inimitable George Booth! Covers a lot of ground and will give you a solid overview of the craft and the lingo.

04-18-2014, 07:19 PM
Hooray, Skye! That's an awesome feeling to have. I remember it well :)

Advice? Take a short break before hitting draft 2 in order to give your brain a little room to breathe. How long? That's different for everyone. Some people say a couple of weeks, some people say a couple of days (some people will no doubt say "Don't listen to Randi; don't take a break!") but it really comes down to what feels right to you. Taking a step back, giving yourself a day or two, or seven, to breathe and then coming back to the story with a fresh mind will help you find things you may have overlooked the first time around.

Best of luck. I'm excited for you!

04-18-2014, 07:23 PM
Way to go! That's a lot of words.

04-18-2014, 08:19 PM
Very cool and very awesome. Something to be proud of for sure. I would suggest taking time off before hammering away at edits, and maybe let a close friend read. But, either way, well done!!!!!

04-18-2014, 08:32 PM
Thank you very much for the congratulations and advice everyone!

I think you're all right; the book does not feel ready yet (of course, it's a first draft) for a volume of people to read.

I've started rewriting the first few chapters, which I discovery-wrote, now that I have a better grasp of the characters.
I felt I should hurry to fix the beginning so I could give it to my alpha readers, but now I think I want to start the whole second draft.

Perhaps I should take a break and write short fiction for a few weeks. It just feels so strange to stop writing this book. Maybe that's telling me I definitely should.

Siri Kirpal
04-18-2014, 11:30 PM
Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

Unless you revise as you go (and it sounds like you don't), hold off on the readers until you've got a draft you're proud to show.

For titles, look at whatever themes, symbols, characters, plot points might make a good title. If you've got several, but can't decide, there's an area of the forum called Brainstorming Sandbox. It's password protected (password is vista). You can go in there with or without title ideas, share whatever you want to share about the book, and ask for help with the title.

And yay! Party time! :banana:


Siri Kirpal

L. Y.
04-20-2014, 04:45 AM
Congratulations! :)

04-24-2014, 05:32 PM

I finished my first over a year ago. It was a great thrill but I wisely held off showing it anywhere. I waited a month and relooked at it. What a difference a month makes. I went through it and did some serious rewrites. Only when I was absolutely sure I couldn't get it any better did I ask for someone else to read it. Still had a long way to go after that.

04-24-2014, 10:38 PM
That's really terrific.
Congrats ! :-)

04-24-2014, 11:02 PM
Congratulations! It's a great feeling to have that first draft complete :-)

I chime in with others who say let the draft rest for a while before you look at it again and start revising - and don't show it to anyone until you have at least been through the next draft. Monumental changes will happen to that first draft during the coming edits, so just keep it to yourself for a while yet.

04-25-2014, 02:14 AM
Fantastic! :Clap:

Revising IS a ton of work but it's exciting, too, as the picture comes into focus and lots of fun little frills and chills get added. :D