I Have a First Draft!

Eeeek!

I did it!

I finally finished the first draft of my current WIP, QG. There were several moments of doubt, a few tears, and many days of staring at my screen, not writing a single word, but it was all worth it because I finished it.

I started writing this book March 26th and I wrote the last word on August 9th. (That’s not including the almost three months of outlining and worldbuilding I did prior to actually writing.) So, it took me about four and a half months of writing, start to finish.

In my prior post I mentioned that my goal was to finish by the end of May, but obvious that didn’t happen. My secondary goal of June also didn’t happen. I was on track to finish in July, but I ran into a lot of issues which brought me to August 9th.

My writing was going well, I was averaging at least one chapter a week, but sometimes more until I reached the first weekend in July. I’d just finished three-quarters of my book and I found that every chapter after that was a struggle.

(Usually it takes me anywhere from 1-3 days to write a chapter, depending on whether I know what’s going on, but it was taking me more like 7-11 days.)

I somehow managed to write four more chapters and one night at dinner, I had a breakdown. I was thinking that the book wasn’t good and I’d have to rewrite a large portion of it. (It didn’t help that my word count was already higher than I’d like and I still approximated that I had at least 15,000 words added by the end.) My family tried to help, (my mom reads the chapters as I write them so she’d reassure me when I needed it), and after I calmed down, I realized that it wasn’t all bad, but the last four chapters were. So, I rewrote them, moving some scenes around and everything was smoothing sailings again.

At the time, I wasn’t pleased for the struggle, but now I’m glad. The new plot works so much better than my old one. In my original outline, the ending I wrote for this book was actually supposed to be a few chapters earlier, which I realized wasn’t necessary and it works way better as the closing scene. So, maybe on some level I knew the chapters weren’t working, that there was a better way, which was why I struggled so much. I’m so happy with how the story turned out and I hope you all get to read it one day.

What’s next?

I’m fixing the errors my mom found while reading and my youngest brother is now reading it to find anything she might have missed. Then I plan of setting it aside for at least a week, before I read through the story editing it myself. I haven’t read the story since I wrote it, only bits and pieces to remind me of what I wrote so I could continue writing. I’m excited to actually read it for the first time, but I want fresh eyes so I can edit more objectively. After that, I’ll probably wait a few more weeks and then do a final edit before I start querying, hopefully by the beginning of October. I want to make sure my book is as perfect as possible before sending it.

Right now, QG is about 135,000 words and ideally I’d like to get it as close to 115,000-120,000 as possible. It’s a YA fantasy novel so I don’t think 135,000 words is too much, but I really don’t know. I guess I’ll find out when I start querying.

Also, I’m going to outline the second book in the series, DC. I wrote down some notes of things I need to include for the second book, it’s just a matter of figuring out where the puzzle pieces go.

I might write another post when I send out my queries. I’ll have to see how I feel. At the very least I think I’ll edit this post with the actual word count of QG when I send it. I’m very hopeful that things will work out, but I’m trying to be realistic, trying to protect myself from being too disappointed if it doesn’t. All I can do it wait and see and hope for the best.

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