Calendar fans will note that National Novel Writing Month runs another few days, until this Saturday, but for me, it is all over. Because, well, I finished my novel, and as discussed in these WriteBlogs at some length, that was the job.
I could probably find a few thousand words to put me over fifty thousand, maybe a between-chapters diversion where my characters embark on a lengthy game of Scrabble. But I don’t really care. I have finished my novel.
Well, the first draft, anyway. As blogs are currently lining up to tell us, finishing your NaNo draft of a novel is not the same as having a complete book, and it’s probably best to at least read over it a few times before sending it out to everyone. Chuck Wendig did a better blog about this than I ever will.
But as discussed here last week, I’m well aware that my book is not ready for primetime, both due to prose clunkiness and the jarring “How much did I just drink?” plot revisions between each chapter. So, yup, got the need for editing, thanks. What other notable feelings can I record on finishing the NaNo novel?
Well, fear mostly. I’ve managed to finish a book without hating it, which is a big step, but I’m also aware of the sheer scale of the rewriting required. I’m not necessarily exaggerating when I say at least a third of it needs to be redone. The level of change involved might be too massive to really qualify as “editing”, but I’m going to call it that anyway to keep calm.
I was coping with this better when I hadn’t finished the draft, to be honest. Now I’m faced with the need to set about doing it, I’m starting to panic properly. Fortunately, writing convention dictates I put the book in a drawer for at least a short time to get some distance from the story (and the terror) – not to mention, Christmas is coming which is always a helpful excuse to avoid work.
So I’m shoving the book away until January, when my fear will hopefully transform into a newfound commitment to high-speed editing/rewriting/whatever I’m calling it. Regardless of my nerves, I’m pretty chuffed to have finished well inside my self-imposed deadline, anyway. A 100K first draft novel in seven months is pretty good for me.
And don’t worry, WriteBlog fans, I never actually stop working – not only will Hobson & Choi continue, I have an entirely different writing project to type now. More on that next week, probably.
HINT: it involves something I’ve mentioned here before.