8 chapters down, 20 to go.
This particular part of the manuscript is one that I have had lots of thoughts about ever since I wrote it, because it was shown to people immediately after it was written, and I got a lot of feedback on it. Namely that the chapter I just made notes on didn’t come soon enough in terms of pushing the story forward, and I would have to agree. Thankfully, though, the chapter itself is actually pretty good, because while reading it, even though there were a few notes to make, it just felt like an actual story was taking place, and that is unspeakably gratifying as a storyteller, to find that somewhere in this first attempt of mine there is actually a story to be found, and it feels like a ‘real’ story, something that I recognise as a reader, as a movie-goer, whatever – it feels the same as it would with any published story. And seriously, that feels amazing. I feel like I now have certified proof that I have done something right.
I’m going to try and ramp up my progress from here on out. I want to get started on draft 2 by my birthday, which is the 27th, so that gives me twelve days to make my own notes, read other people’s feedback and digest it, and then make a plan for draft 2. Obviously I’m not going to stick to this time-frame if it sabotages my work, but it’s my goal. I need some good old-fashioned deadline pressure.
It’s so close now!
I was so excited about getting started on draft 2 near the end of draft 1, and then when I first started revision, and the excitement has gone, but I know that it can still come back. It is very difficult to keep myself from planning things right now, so I am very glad that I have actually been taking notes this whole time to scratch that itch while not jeopardising my focus on this revision. 20 chapters is a lot of chapters, after all. I’m still a ways off.
I think I’ll try NaNoWriMo this November, just to see how it feels to get a draft of a novel done in a month. Or is it a whole novel? I can’t remember. It sounds like fun, anyway. I actually signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo but then chickened out (plus wanting to focus on revising this novel), so my hope is to have draft 2 and maybe even 3 done before November so that I can kick back and have fun with something different.
For now, though, I can see a story, and it makes me feel like what I spent a year doing last year was actually worth it. Just want to keep momentum now so that the feeling remains and I don’t have time to get discouraged.
Onwards and forwards.