This week I reached two writing milestones: I submitted my first fantasy short story, The River Lords, for publication and I began revising the first draft of my first novel, Shadow of the Black City. Each of these milestones represents something different.
The River Lords represents completing a project and putting it out there and, most importantly to me, moving on to the next thing.
The next thing is revising the first draft of Shadow. I’m about 10-15% into revisions and the process is confirming what I suspected — This revision will be more rewrite than revision. I’m okay with that. The important thing was for me to get the story down in all its rambling, hackneyed glory.
The original story arc holds true, it just needs pruning. I foresee combining characters to simplify the story, tightening the original conflict and changing the age and circumstances of the main character — so far. I’m sure there will be more, but that’s cool. I’ve explored the subject of writing and first drafts enough to go into this with my eyes open. Truth be told, I’m excited to refine this work.
As one who loves to read about how people approach the various parts of the writing process, I’ve been around the web and bought books. I read Natalie Whipple’s blog post today regarding writing a first draft and thought it may have best captured the most essential nugget of any part of the process –Write how YOU write.
Ultimately, the process is about me sitting at the keyboard and working through however many iterations of my novel until I like the story I’m telling. Yeah, it’s simple to say, but you’d be surprised how many people have a hard time doing it.