Monday, October 29, 2012

Finishing a Draft

I'm two chapters away from finishing my sequel. Two. I'm seriously so happy. Of course it's sort of a mess right now, but I've almost finished another whole book. My 6th to be exact. :) And that is something to be proud of.

Finishing a draft can feel so daunting. When I start writing a book, I look at how far I have to go and get very overwhelmed. I never think I'll finish, since looking at my word count and realizing I only have 1,000 of my 50-60,000 words stresses me right out. But somehow I pull through. So when I finish a draft, I do something to celebrate. Like eat a lot of Halloween candy. Which is what I'll be doing in the next few days when my draft is finally finished. ;) Good thing I have kids to "borrow" their candy from, eh? Ha ha.

I had a little writers retreat this weekend and seriously, those ladies kicked me into gear. We did sprints, (writing as many words as you can for 45 minutes straight) laughed, talked and just had fun spending time together. I love other writers. I love how supportive my friends are. We are all in different parts of our writing journeys, and we still lift each other up. No one looks down on anyone else. Seasoned writers, traditionally published, self-published, large presses, small presses, just barely starting out. It's awesome. And it's amazing what being around other writers can do for your own writing.

I wrote 6,000 words on Saturday before I had to leave early. That's how much I usually get done in a week when I'm home with my kids. It was awesome. So, I'll most likely finish my draft tonight or tomorrow and be ready to start NaNo on Thursday. Revisions can wait until December. ;)

How are you preparing for NaNo? And when you finish a draft, how long to you step away from that particular manuscript?

21 comments:

prerna pickett said...

that's an amazing accomplishment. congrats!

Jessica Hill said...

Congrats!! That's awesome. :)

I'm just finishing up my last round of revisions on my current novel before requesting betas before starting NaNo this week.

I always take at least a couple weeks away from my drafts before editing and between each round of revisions, sometimes longer. I'm super bad about going from "Oh, this is solid" to "OMGGG this suuucks" while revising, so I always give myself plenty of time away to clear my head. ;)

Kelsey said...

Ooooh, exciting! That's such a great feeling. Find me on NaNoWriMo :) KSutton

Samantha May said...

That's awesome! I'm really close to the end of mine too. I'm hoping to finish either today or tomorrow so that I can participate in NaNo. Fingers crossed!

1000th.monkey said...

Congrats on finishing your draft!

I'd say the reprieve/break depends on the book. Sometimes a month, sometimes a week. I think it get skewed by how clean the draft is. If I know there are going to be some heavy re-writes (since I'm a pantser, this often happens), then I leave it for longer.

I am working hard to finish edits on a story before NaNo begins. It's nice to start NaNo with a clear head :)

Crystal Collier said...

Man, #6, way to go! What I wouldn't give for a writing retreat... Alas. I think the more time you can take away from a draft, the better. Unfortunately, deadlines don't always allow for the needed distance, eh?

And as for Nano... I think slow and steady is much better than a month of forced "stuff". Unless you've got a solid outline going in, it's often better to forgo the rush.

Patti said...

6000 words, that's awesome. Usually I go right back into a first draft to change things I've thought of along the way. It's after the second draft that I let it sit.

I'm still considering NaNo. I tried it last year and failed, but maybe it will be just what I need.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

ARGH. I'm trying to finish my WIP right now and it's kicking my butt. The last 1/3 seems to be going SOOOO slow. I can see why people quit and just start something new because it's hard.

Good for you! I hear of your lovely retreats and sometimes wish I lived further north. Gotta figure out a way to get you people down to the red mountains sometime. :)

Jenny S. Morris said...

Ah, I can't wait for book 2. So glad you had a great time with your writer friends. ;)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Glad you're so close! When I'm in the zone, it's frightening how much I can write in a day.

Rachel said...

What a freaking accomplishment Chantele!!!!! Congrats!

I'm still slugging through a rewrite of my second novel. It seems to never ever end........... But I know it will one day.<3

Just gotta have hope, right?

Angela Cothran said...

I'm drafting too, so I feel your pain. But I'm at the beginning so I'll look to you for inspiration.

Jessie Humphries said...

Seriously awesome retreat eh? U love how you summed it up...we are all at such different stages and yet we fit together so well! I still want your baby! (I sound really creepy)

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Writers are awesome. Congrats on being so close to done.
(And I usually like to step away for a couple of months before I start the edits.)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

So wonderful! I'll be reading your first book soon. I'm so excited!

Krista McLaughlin said...

Congrats on almost finishing your draft! I can't wait to read the second book when you are ready! It's gonna be great. :)

I'm ready for NaNo! Let's go!

Madeline Jane said...

Congrats! Doesn't it feel great to finish? It just so happens that there's a ton of candy. How convenient. ;)

Lara Schiffbauer said...

Yay for you! The writer's retreat sounds wonderful. Have a great Nano!

Nicole said...

Woohoo! That's always such an exciting accomplishment. Definitely candy-worthy. ;)

When I finish a draft, I usually let it sit at least two months before I look at it, and often it's more like four because I'm working on other stuff.

Kelley Lynn said...

I've been thinking about the NaNo projects (doing two collab projects) for a while now. Talking with my coauthors. Super fun :)

And... I don't put my first draft away before I start edits. Usually the next day or the day after that I'm going through with the red pen. I know many people (whoever those people are... haha) say you're supposed to put it away and wait, but I don't. Oh well.

Good luck with finishing your draft AND NaNo. Super woman you are :)

Shallee said...

Sounds like your retreat was amazing! I always take at least a week, sometimes two, between a first draft and subsequent drafts. Going from that first draft to revisions is always a bit daunting.