Writing Highs

I did something late Friday night that I want to share. The first novel draft I ever finished, “Pithea,” which I mostly wrote during NaNo 2013 has been undergoing revision for almost 2 years now. After I’d had some time alone with it, I started into a process with 2 of my sisters, wherein we’d meet every Tuesday evening on Skype and work through their notes on my revised draft. It’s more than just the writing we’ve been working on; the story is set in a fantasy-type world, and they’ve helped me work out the elements of it. As time has gone on, the story has gotten better, characters have gotten stronger, and the mechanics of the world I’ve built are clearer.

It’s been just over a year since we started these weekly editing sessions, and most of my writing time has been spent reading ahead of them and making more of my own revisions. We’re basically working from a 3rd draft, which I’ve been creating as we go. Hopefully this makes some sort of sense.

Anyway, Friday night, after I’d done my NaNo writing for the day, I sat down to get more revision done, more of “draft 3” ready so that we can work on it this coming Tuesday. And I got through the last 8 pages of the draft, which means that on Tuesday, we’ll probably finish the last pages of the draft too. Which means this revision, the most intensive one it should need, will be done!

Now there are still some things that need worked on. During our revision sessions, we passed over bigger issues that we knew would just slow us down. There were big, world-related questions that came up that we decided weren’t important to solve just yet. We will hopefully have an in-person, all-day meeting in the next month or so to hammer all of these things out. But after that, I’ll be one huge step closer to be ready to publish this thing. It’s actually scary to be so close and still have no idea what I’m doing. But it’s still better than doing nothing.

And in the time since then, other exciting things have happened. I finished the first draft of this year’s NaNoNovel, only halfway through the month. I was in the local newspaper (front page) with other area Wrimos, and the article even included a link to my blog! (See more about that here.) My region’s ML today shared the crocheted octopus she made for me, as a reward for being one of the first in our region to donate and contact her about it. And my NaNo winner’s shirt is on its way!

This weekend was definitely a high for writer-me.

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5 thoughts on “Writing Highs

  1. As I write my NaNo novel–the first novel I’ve ever gotten this far into completing–I can’t help but think how terrible it is. I know it’s a first–and very rough–draft, but there are times when I sit down to write and can’t seem to move the plot forward at all and I think to myself, “I suck. I’m not a writer, I’m a wannabe.” These are dark times indeed. My husband, who is also my biggest fan and cheerleader, keeps telling me not to give up, and sometimes I want to say to him, “what do you know about it? You haven’t been privy to just how awful this book is.” What I am getting at here is that this post gives me (and possibly many others) more hope than you realize. So what if it takes me two years. So what if I don’t know what I’m doing? There are plenty of published writers–famous ones even–who started like us. Not knowing what we were doing, but giving it our best work and effort regardless of the possibility of failure. And many of them did fail the first time around, but their writing improved, their knowledge of the process improved, and they became great authors. Thanks for the post, and I wish you the best with all of your writing endeavors.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It has definitely been a difficult process, especially in the early revision. Being so far away from anything even remotely publishable makes it easy to give up, because there’s no end in sight. When my sisters and I first started the revision process, it was very slow going. In fact, after two sessions, I did the math, and at the pace we were going, it would have taken 11 years to finish the draft. Fortunately, things picked up as we got from the intro parts of the story into the actual narrative, and then even more as we got better at what we were doing.

      When my husband cheers me on and tells me not to give up, I often just think, “How do I know you’re not just saying that because you love me and want to be supportive?” Honestly, I don’t think I’d be so close to be done even now if I hadn’t involved other people on a regular basis. I probably would have slacked off so much in the last year.

      Your comment actually meant a lot to me. I started this blog as a self-helpful endeavor, so I’m glad to be able to help others as well, in whatever form that might take.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s really exciting 🙂 I know how hard working through draft edits can be. I’ve been holding onto my first novel so tightly, because I’m afraid too of what the future holds for it. I need to find the courage to believe that she’s the best version of herself and release her to the world. *shudders at the thought* Best of luck with your writing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is exciting…and terrifying. 🙂 I do definitely think there’s a point when revising is just a stalling tactic. I’m not to that point yet, and I don’t know if you are either, of course. But just remember that you can never make it perfect! “Good enough” is all you can strive for, so if you feel it’s there, maybe it IS time to let go. 🙂 Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

      (Edited because I somehow hit some button that posted it before I meant to.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I keep telling myself that there is no such thing as perfection. Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 I’m not stalling yet. At the moment, I’m still making necessary structural amendments. But I’m going to reach that point soon, when I’ll have to say, ‘you’ve done your best. Now let her go.’

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