Finishing my first draft - 855 words shy of the mark

By Katharine Swan On Friday, December 02, 2011 At 12:54 PM

I finished my novel last night — I'd put an ending on it a few nights ago, but last night I finally finished a scene that I had skipped over (not being sure exactly what to write) a few weeks ago.  The first draft is, unfortunately, only 79,145 words — 855 words shy of my original goal — which is a little disappointing.

I'll now be putting the novel aside for a little while — I'm planning on picking it back up and doing the first round of revisions in January.  In the meantime, I've settled on what I want to do next: I realized that the next book was going to require some additional research — I have some historical facts to get right this time, and not just a general setting — so after a short break to get caught up on some other things, I'm going to get started on that.  We'll see how long it takes me, i.e., whether I'll be starting the second book before or after the first round of revisions on the first, but I lean toward getting the first book started before I do revisions (in case the second book brings up anything that needs changing in the first).

As I write this, in fact, I am printing a copy of the first draft, to be set aside until I am ready to start revisions.  I will go through the novel first on paper and mark the revisions I want to make (I know, I know, not very green, but when I'm revising fiction I prefer doing it on paper rather than on a computer screen), and then put the changes into the computer.

Watching the novel emerge from my printer, page by page, is very satisfying.  Even though I know it's not really done yet, it gives me a tremendous feeling of completion to see and feel it on paper!

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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