Familiar Blunders When Writing a Novel – revisited

This is how my head felt

This is how my head felt

I finished my first draft today. Yeah! I had such a reaction to my first post on the subject of blundering about when writing a novel (you can read it here) that I decided to celebrate by comparing how I feel now that I’ve written ‘ends’ with how I felt then, around 28,000 words earlier.

– Really thrilled that the first draft is down. Now it is, I can play with it and polish it and make it better. I love finishing a first draft and look forward to the second.

– It now seems perfectly reasonable that I had to rewrite the beginning when I got half way through. I knew my characters better by then and saw that some of the themes I thought would be important were not and that new themes took over.

– I’m a lot less bothered about whether I kept all my plates spinning, ie kept up with all my plot lines. When I begin to edit, the smashed plates will become obvious. Because of the miracle of working in a word processor, nobody will ever know whether I glued the plates back together and got them spinning back on their sticks or just quietly swept the pieces into the bin. (I work on a Mac so that should probably be Trash.)

Beta reader, Mark West.

Beta reader, Mark West.

– If I don’t notice a smashed plate then one of my beta readers or my agent will. Ditto holes in the plot. I’m blessed to have these people. Though I’ve been working alone on this for months and months they have been patiently waiting to help me. It’s kind of humbling, really.

– I’m much happier about the dynamics between certain characters now I’ve had time to think about them. And because I now know what every character does at the end. Once I know the answer, the questions seem clearer!

– I did, in the end, have sufficient ideas for my plot. I like to write between 85,000 and 95,000 words, and this book has closed at 91,850. I have no idea why I worried …

– OK, I did sweat over unknotting my plot lines and bringing the book to a conclusion that satisfied me. My brain hurt. A Facebook friend was an invaluable source of information on technology issues. But it’s done. It will probably have to be improved upon. Fine. Bring it on.

photo(53) copy 3– Yes, I do get in the same knots and snaggles with this book as with every other. I will no doubt get in them again when I write another book. Nobody said writing a book is easy. Or, if they did, it wasn’t me.

But the satisfaction now that the first draft is complete? Immense.

And my very first action after typing in the final line? (Apart from editing it and typing in a different one.) To back it up to my dropbox so that even if my house burns down tonight, my WIP is safe. Mwah. Love you, first draft.



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14 responses to “Familiar Blunders When Writing a Novel – revisited

  1. Congratulations. I’d like to pour you a glass of prosecco – you’ve earned it – but it has to be virtual. Still, it’s the thought etc etc. Cheers!


  2. Phew. Well done, Sue. Liked the way you said you rewrote that final line more than once – that rings a bell. Nice to see Mark again, too!


  3. It must be a huge sense of achievement to write more than 90,000 words. I have only managed 40,000 and that has taken almost five years because I never finish anything and leave work on the hard drive. I have spurts of doing a lot in one go, then having a rest because my brain hurts! I will get my act together one day ๐Ÿ™‚


  4. Reblogged this on The thinking girl's guide to life and commented:
    A wonderful post by author Sue Moorcroft-lucky devil, finishing her 1st draft despite the blunders!


  5. Fascinating, Sue. Eye-opener. (Have just gone back to read first one in the subject!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Angela Petch

    Thanks for sharing your struggle. It is comforting to know that you suffer too. I don’t mean that nastily… and congratulations on getting there. Thanks heavens for Beta readers. Looking forward to reading it when it’s published.

    Liked by 1 person

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