I’m making some headway on my first novel. As you know, I finished the first draft in September and I had my first read-through in October. How is it? Well.. it’s like all first drafts. Awful. Just Goddamn awful. Don’t mistake me; I believe in the story and it will be my first finished novel but I’d argue that 85% (at least) needs rewriting, editing or cutting out. But that’s what first drafts are for. The whole point is to finish so you have something to work with because honestly, who writes a completed novel in one sitting? I have characters to cut out, others to add and some that need their motivations sorted. You know, there’s two characters who are vital to the plot and they didn’t exist until roughly halfway through writing it? It’s good to write to a structure but never suffocate that first draft with a rigid template otherwise you never get any spontaneity. More often than not, the best ideas come out of nowhere and it’s always good to allow yourself some room to incorporate them.
To begin Draft II, I’ve gone through Draft I once more and listed all the major plot points. Currently, I’m making notes on what to cut, what to expand etc. Because I know how it ends and roughly where the main plot points take place, I am free to experiment. With the basic plot written, you can be the critic and decide what needs changing. It’s like watching a bad film and saying what you would have done differently only this time, it’s my novel and I can turn it from pulp fodder to gold. When I finish Draft II, I’ll leave it on ice for another month, return to it and see if it holds up. I’ll make more notes and changes and, if I’m satisfied, I’ll send out copies for criticism.
I’m also working on a novella at the moment titled Twenty Something. It began life as a screenplay which I imagined to be similar to Young Adult as well as my own situation at the time. Sadly, the screenplay sucked as it became too sentimental; I think I was afraid of being too critical of the main character and I churned out something that didn’t have the spirit I intended. Regardless, I dug out the screenplay and made some changes. Now it’s being rewritten as a novella and is a lot more grounded as a result. It’s about a college dropout named Rosalinda who tries to reform her old band as a futile gesture against a changing world. I have been considering turning it into my second novel. It’ll be finished when it’s finished so wait and see until I post it.
I have a couple of short stories I have written but I don’t believe in them enough to be posted. One is too verbose (it’s a sorta-sequel to Roseblood) as well as feeling too rushed whilst another is way too short with little emotional punch.
Anyway, that’s what I wanted to say so thank you for reading. Hopefully my next post will be a novella/short story of high quality.