I finished the first draft of The Chronicles of Talam – Book 1 at the end of July. I had set an aggressive 15-day goal to write and finish a 40,000-word novella before leaving on a family vacation as I wrote about before. During the month of August, as I took a hiatus from writing and let my first draft marinate for a while, I took up drawing. It was something I’ve always loved to do but never quite continued with it long enough to get proficient at it (sounds familiar to any number of my life’s pursuits). I had to stop, though, as I developed Trigger Thumb from overuse (think carpal tunnel for the thumb).
At the beginning of September, I printed out my first draft, grabbed a yellow notepad, and sat down and read through my first draft. I found myself not editing much in terms of large-scale plot or character points and that worried me. This was the first draft, after all. It’s supposed to be messy and need lots of cleanup. What’s wrong with me? Do I think too highly of myself and my writing? I don’t think so. For one thing, this is the fourth attempt at this particular story so I think I have the characters and the plot down rather solidly. It’s as if I had outlined the entire thing multiple times. I also tend to like what I write and that’s a problem. This is why I recently just finished reading the rest of the first draft and I am now in the editing stage. So far, it seems to be going rather swiftly. I think the fact that its a novella has something to do with that as well. 40K words is not a long book and it seems quite manageable from an editing perspective.
Of course, the real test will be the feedback I receive from Beta Readers and a few trusted friends and family to see just how close or far I am to a completed story. If anyone is interested in being a Beta Reader, contact me and I will add you to the list.