Final Drafts And Grounded Expectations

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A few days ago I finished the latest draft of my first book, focusing on consistency and final story touches. Now my story makes sense and is actually readable from start to finish! It’s come a long way from the tiny 30,000 word first draft that kept me awake at night to the 80,000+ word novel with plot and characters and all that fun stuff. It feels like quite an achievement to get to this point, even though it took much much longer than I originally expected.

Now I’m about to start the final prose pass – checking for passive voice, removing to be and thought verbs, pushing showing over telling etc. My deadline is the end of the month, and then I’ll send it out to my beta readers to get some feedback.

‘Each line must have its own power, its own juice. Bim bim bim!’

– Bukowsi

I believe the story I wrote is an interesting one, but since it’s my first novel I don’t expect it to be winning any awards. I’m a believer in the principle of the 10,000 hour rule and nothing I write before a certain level of mastery is going to be consistently awesome. I can read back through my work and see flickers of writing that I think are decent, but rather than spend the next year polishing pebbles, I’m ready to move on and use what I’ve learned on the next book.

So I have a busy week of editing ahead of me, but I can see the finish line now and I can’t wait to call my first book completed. My brain is already brimming over with ideas for the next one.


Photo by photosteve101 licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic .

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