Hallelujah! I’m done. I finished the third and final draft (for now, that is) of my novel! I think I’m still in shock, honestly. I probably won’t fully believe it until Monday when I start to outline my next book.
I’ve been working on it for fourteen months. Fourteen months! I know some people take a decade to finish a book but I don’t mean on and off for fourteen months, I mean nose to the grindstone for fourteen months. I was doing the math a couple of nights ago. On average, I worked on the book 4 – 7 days a week, 1 – 3 hours each day. Let’s call it 5 days a week, 2 hours a day to make it fair. That’s 560 hours! 560 hours of my free time, after work, clubs, family, friends, chores, internet and TV. Oh, sue me on the last two…we all need a break.
The final copy came out to 98,412 words or 441 pages. I cut almost 17,000 words from the second draft, none of which was story. After doing lots of research on editing, I was able to cut that much just in excess verbiage and unnecessary “telling”. I’m really proud of the improvement I’ve made in my writing from this draft alone. This week, I’ll be sharing some of those editing suggestions with you so maybe you can use them to improve your writing as well!
I finally get to share my novel with my friends. I’ve been keeping my writing to myself, save a few excerpts here and there. It’s nice to be able to get their feedback now and with any luck, a lot of praise! After all the red pen I got everywhere during Draft 3, I could use some praise. I’m looking forward to their suggestions, though, too.
This week, I’m starting to outline my next book. It feels a little crazy to try to wrap my head around something new. I’ve been working on the same thing for so long that starting fresh is hard to believe. But I am excited. And I’m counting down the days until NaNoWriMo!