Having spent the past few months researching agents, obsessively redrafting my cover letter and synopsis, polishing my manuscript and finally starting to send out a few queries, I'm ready to go on to my next project. I could continue with my current state of checking my email every few minutes or straining to hear the clunk of the post through our front door, but that's probably not such a productive way to move ahead. Not to mention that I'm driving myself crazy! So next Monday, I'm starting to redraft Novel Number Three.
I wrote the first draft really quickly - 80,000 words in one month. After finishing, I put it on the shelf for awhile. I like to have a bit of a break from my novels before going back to them. I find it helps clear my mind and lets me look at it with fresh eyes. It's so much easier to identify any problems or issues after a few weeks away. Even before looking at it again, I know it needs a lot of work with plot and characterization. Both are things I struggled to balance in my second novel, forcing a major rewrite of the second half. But I think I've learned a lot through the process, and hopefully this time I won't need to rewrite so much.
For me, redrafting is one of the best parts of the novel-writing process. I always feel a little bit anxious in the first-draft stage: Is this going to work? Where is this going? Will it have enough 'legs' to last 80,000 words? What are my characters doing? At the initial stages, it feels like my story is controlling me, and I'm not good at not being in control!
But once I have it all down on the page, I love feeling like I am the god of the world I've created. I can move the pieces of the puzzle to create the picture I want. It's hard work and sometimes I want to pull my hair out, but somehow it always seems to come out alright in the end.
So -- here's to Novel Number Three!