Friday, February 6, 2009

Onwards and Upwards: Novel Number Three!

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!


Nixy Valentine said...

I'd love to hear more about what you write! I really enjoy your style of writing, at least on your blog, so I imagine I'd really like your book as well. What genre?

Feel free to email me at nixyvalentine AT gmail DOT com if you don't want to reply on your blog!

Susan Lute said...

I love your description on revisions. I feel the same about them, but I'm not good about blurping out the first draft. That generally takes me six months :)

Marsha said...

@Nixy - Thank you! Just sent you a reply via email.

@Susan - It can go either way with me for the first draft, but I try not to think about it too much - just get it down. Alcohol helps! :)

Criss said...

I'm the opposite: the first draft is fun, my characters are taking me strange places and coming up with rather interesting things to do... but I have yet to edit one of the three (and a half) novels I have sitting on my hard drive.

The editing/rewriting/redrafting is the scary part for me, because that's when it's supposed to be perfect. The first draft CAN be crap, but the edited work has to have all those things like plot and character development and theme and growth and so on and so forth.

Tonight I'm supposed to sit down with my novel for a serious read-through, to start the serious editing process. Wish me luck! :P

Tina Hunter said...


Great to meet another author struggling to "make it" and Canadian at heart.

I also find revisions the best. Right now I'm half way through a first draft and it's like pulling teeth. But once i have words on paper there is no curbing my enthusiasm for the project - any project.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you. Cheers.