I cannot believe I forgot to share this on my blog!
(That's why you should follow my social media accounts, people :)
About SIX WEEKS ago, I wrote "End" on my first draft of The Flower Maiden!! Yay!!
I've been deep in the editing trenches ever since and trying not to obsess over EVERYTHING. For instance - a few days ago, I decided I needed to make two chapters into three. I had two important parts of the story sharing one chapter, with bits and pieces hiding in the next one. I finally decided that these concepts each needed their own separate space. So, guess what? I spent two and a half days working on ONLY these three chapters! Two and a half days of copy/pasting, re-writing, adding detail, and trying not to lose my mind.
And I wonder - is this normal? Obsessing over these pages wore me out. I know I'm new to this novel-writing thing, but WOW. Editing is hard work.
So today I'm taking a break from editing. I am writing this blog and playing with my dog (that rhymes). I'm enjoying a beautiful day outdoors. When I return to editing, I will force myself to ignore these three chapters and move on, because there are thirty-some other chapters that still need my attention.
Thankfully, there isn't a metric ton of work to do since my first draft is more like a second draft. How is that possible, you ask? Well, I was fortunate to find a group of marvelous critique partners. They read through each chapter as I went, and gave me honest feedback. I incorporated their comments immediately and as a result, my first draft isn't too much of a hot mess. My critique group has helped me A LOT these past eleven months.
If you're writing too, and you don't have people to talk with about your story, find a local critique group! They can help motivate you to finish your novel. Those strangers will soon become friends and their dubious advice will eventually become beams of light in the darkness.
Okay, back to me. The moral of this blog entry is that writing "The End" after finishing a story is nowhere near the end of the work. I had a hard time shifting from creative story telling to stoic story editing, but I think I've figured it out now. Besides the daunting task of going back through every single one of my 67.000 words, I also need to write a Query Letter, Synopsis and Elevator Pitch (or three). For those of you who are new to this writing world too, those other pages are used to find a literary agent who's as excited about your story as you are. They are VERY important.
It's all overwhelming, but this journey has been amazing! Don't worry, I definitely have the "writing bug" and will be working on a new project soon enough.
To the future!