Current Status: Hopeful
Food Consumed: Absolutely nothing!
On The iPod: Valium; Lisa Mitchell
Word Count: Oodles of longhand
Draft three. One year after starting my first novel, a few weeks shy of its anniversary in fact, and I’m beginning what will be the third draft. It’s strange for me to think back to those first few days of frantic writing only a year ago. I thought my little novel was the bees knees, even then. I thought what I’d written was fantastico, worthy of much praise and all that rot. It didn’t take long for reality – or self doubt – to kick in.
I’ve been through the boiler with this little novel. Over the past year I have simultaneously loved and loathed my manuscript; I have wanted to hug it to death and I have wished it to death; I have marvelled at its moments of brilliance and cringed at its plot holes and all-round absurdity; I have loved it to pieces and have (literally) torn it to pieces. As for now, well, I don’t want to speculate. It’s too soon to ask how I feel about the novel – of course, because the draft is new and fresh I adore it and think it’s the most wonderful thing since sliced bread or, you know, Cormac McCarthy. (NB: I am in no way comparing myself to the great and mighty Cormac here, merely comparing my love of my current work to the love I feel for my most favourite novel ever, The Road.)
This draft, though, I hope, will be the last. When I say last I don’t mean I’ll write the final words and then toss it to the floor, never to be looked at again; I mean last as in, let’s cross those little fingers and hope and pray that someone picks it out of the slush pile and thinks it’s pretty dandy. Of course I could be wrong. I have been wrong before (don’t tell my husband I said that, will you?). During the first half of the first draft, I thought it was publishable material – yes, I know I’m deluded – luckily for me my delusions didn’t last long, and I knew before I’d even finished the first draft that it was (mostly) a bunch of cringe-worthy crap that should never see the light of day, ever. So I hid it away in my cupboard for a few months until I could bring myself to look at it again and then I started a fresh draft, completely from scratch. When I started the second draft I thought it was publishable material and ooed and ahhed over how pretty I thought it was – until reality set in again and I knew it just wasn’t working, knew it wasn’t yet quite right.
So, draft number three! I have changed the POV, changed the tense, changed the introduction and some of the areas of the plot that I thought were too ‘wishy washy.’ What I hope I’ve achieved is a well-rounded little novel with an MC that is highly relatable and a plot that coasts along nicely without hitting any snags or troughs.
As they say, third time’s the charm!
Now I just have to finish writing the damn thing…