Is there life after finishing a first draft?


My title poses an interesting question. Is there life after a first draft? You may well wonder since I’ve gone dark on social media since I announced I had finished mine. Truth be told, I needed a break from talking about my work.

I have not been idle. For an indie author, the work never stops. While that first draft was simmering, I reread the other three books in the series. This was useful as I go into rewrites on the fourth book. I now have the entire story line in my head. As a matter of course, I picked up typos and a few continuity errors. So, I upgraded all the files. I’ve been meaning to do such an update for a while because I’ve learned how to do the table of contents feature in a way that is more compatible for Kindle readers.

A great upside to indie publishing and doing my own ebook formatting is that I can revise and repost my interior book files whenever necessary. The need to do such revising comes up more often that I realized it would. When the fourth book is published, I will have redo the interior file for the third with a sneak peek at chapter one of the fourth.

I’ve now moved through my first rewrite on No Compass to Right. I’ve trimmed down the word count, cleaned up problematic scenes, checked over time frames and rewritten a key event that, according to one of my consultants, was more complicated than necessary. I’ve done multiple searches for incidents of unclear, weak writing.

Line-by-line editing has begun on the early chapters and rewrites will continue apace of editing. This process may seem clunky but it works for me. I’m keeping ahead of my editor (what a laugh!) by reading the entire work aloud and making changes as I go. Much is discovered while reading a piece of one’s writing aloud!

When I can’t face any of the above tasks, I switch gears to work on acknowledgments, dedication and the dreaded book blurb for the latest novel. Nothing tests an author’s mettle like writing a book blurb. There is that moment, looking at a blank page, knowing I must come up with 250 words that will excite, entice and lure the reader into my story, when I realize that my book must be about nothing since my mind is a total blank.

I’m also working on ideas, conceptual sketches and assembling photos for the cover of this new work.

On the marketing front, I’ve landed another BookBub slot for Disappearing in Plain Sight in May. It was March 2016 that I was featured with the first book of the Crater Lake Series. I am eager to share how a second time on the same book works out.

So, that’s where I’m at. Where in the writing process do you find yourself?


6 comments on “Is there life after finishing a first draft?

  1. Sop glad you got the first draft done! I know how much work is yet ahead. I am sure you will get it done, and well.

    I have been thinking about a novel I wrote but kept endlessly revising, then got sick of the project after ten years… I looked at it again and gave it to an editor. She advised against the format (a novel in two parts, two first person narratives). At some point I pitched it and got two nibbles as well as published an excerpt that was nominated for a Pushcart Prize…but nothing further panned out. I gave up on long fiction quite a few years. Then while writing a second story with characters and a slant I like a lot, I am thinking of expanding it into a new novel start.

    • Thanks so much for sharing this story, Cynthia. It makes me think of that saying about how for everything there is a season. Could this be the time for that long shelved away novel of yours to emerge in some new form? Perhaps. It’s strange how writing takes on a life of its own. It is certainly true that the more we write, the more we will write. Best of wishes with whatever path the keyboard takes you down.

  2. Gallivanta says:

    It’s good to hear you are reading aloud. I find it is the best way to check/edit the small things I write just for myself or my family.

  3. Behind the Story says:

    It sounds like you’ve got the revision process all figured out. Congratulations on getting the BookBub slot. Are you doing a free book or a low priced one?

    • Hi Nicki – I’ll go with free for the first book in the Crater Lake Series in the BookBub slot. It seems to be my most effective marketing strategy for funnelling readers through the whole series. As to figuring out the revision process – things do seem to be going very smooth this time around but that’s when I get nervous – LOL. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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