I can’t believe it took me almost three years to get through my first draft. But I have completed the final scene and I have a story arc complete with an inciting incident, defeats and victories, and of course the climax and falling action.
But wait there’s more!
The first draft, phase 1, is just the beginning. On to phase 2, the rewriting. This is where I get to take all the feedback I’ve gotten from my workshop group and my writing mentor and make upgrades. Rewriting is the heart of writing if you ask me. For a pantsters like myself (writers who don’t use plot outlines,) writing the first draft is like wandering around a dark room trying to find the light. As you grope around you get an idea of the shape of the room and what is in there. Turning on the light is finishing that draft when you get to finally see what it is you’ve got. Rewriting is my favorite part because now I get to really dig into what I’ve discovered and hone it into the best it can be. This is my chance to bring things out, dust them off and let them shine. I can do more nuanced dialogue, stronger foreshadowing, and get the continuity of action shored up.
Phase 3 will be finding Beta readers. Phase 4 is the editing from that. And once I am truly convinced of story and all of its parts, I will finally be at phase 5, the actual editing from a professional editor (because you should never edit your own work. Never ever.)
Once I make all the updates I get from the editor, I will be ready to publish.
I still have a ways to go, but I’ve gotten through the gauntlet of getting my idea on paper.