1st Novel, 1st Draft: Finished!

cheeringYes. I’ve finished the first draft of my historical novel. Typed the last words today.

  • 87,408 words.
  • 57 chapters/scenes.
  • 3 months, exactly, since I started.

Editing comes next.

I need to put the novel away now, just for a month, in order to get some distance between myself and my words. Then I will start doing some serious editing.

Of course I have been tweaking things as I go along – reading back over what I have written the previous day and doing minor edits, such as fixing typos, correcting grammar and improving word choice.

My plan is to print out and read the whole piece with fresh eyes. I may have to alter the structure or pacing or mood. I’m going to use Dwight Swain’s rules as a guide. Scene, followed by sequel, followed by scene, followed by sequel, followed by scene, etc.

What? You’ve never heard of Dwight Swain? You should have!

  1. Buy and read his book, Techniques of a Selling Author: print version or Kindle version.
  2. Or read Katie Ganshert’s summary as given in these blog posts

What will I do while I’m giving my draft a rest?

Guess what – perfect timing. NaNoWriMo starts on Friday!

This year I am determined to do NaNo. Had to miss out last year due to work pressures. Looking forward to it immensely. The challenge of writing 50,000 words of a new novel in 30 days will be good. It will keep me from tinkering with the old one. Now, I just need to start planning what I am going to write about for NaNo…

Author: Ruth Livingstone

Walker, writer, photographer, blogger, doctor, woman, etc.

6 thoughts on “1st Novel, 1st Draft: Finished!”

  1. Wow Ruth! what a brilliant effort…
    I won’t be doing NaNo this year due to workload. However, I am beginning a total rewrite of my novel on November 1st, I really need to get this novel finished now so I can move on…

    Enjoy NaNo 🙂


  2. Three months! I’m really impressed. I seem to stop and start and lose my thread… far too often. You’ve now inspired me to get cracking on mine. I’d probably get more written each time I sit down if there weren’t such big gaps between writing sessions! 🙂


  3. Good luck with NaNo! I’m participating too! And, I like that you plan on putting your story away for a month to have objective eyes once you start revisions. I tend to do that too.

    Congratulations on finishing your first draft! That’s an accomplishment….some people can’t finish anything.

    Keep smiling,


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