The Joys (And Realities) of Completing a First Draft

Today was a great writing day.

excited doggie

As many of you know, I began a new work in progress last summer.  I had just gotten Scrivener, and was fiddling around with its many (many, many) features.  Through my trials, I came to love the Corkboard feature, and before I knew it, I had a framework for a new novel all mapped out.

I wrote the entire draft in Scrivener, learning how to use it as I went along.  My Corkboard map was my guide.  Today, I am happy to say that the first draft of that novel is complete!

As I finished, a joyous feeling came over me.  This is officially my fourth novel, and I can honestly say, that fact alone has me giddy with excitement.  Just a few short years ago, I never thought I would have even one completed novel length manuscript, let alone four, but here I sit typing this post.

However, reality is beginning to set in.  Not to diminish the joy I have for completing this manuscript, but I know that tomorrow when I head over to Staples to print out my first hard copy of it, I will be shocked.  I’ll begin to read the words of the novel I began last summer, and my writing will be filled with…heaven knows what.  No doubt there will be plot holes to fill, incomplete sentences, weird grammar and spelling, you name it.

Completing a first draft comes an even more daunting task:  Having the courage to look your fledgling novel in the eye and make it hold true to your hopes and dreams for it.  Getting through the first read of a brand new manuscript draft with an open mind can be difficult.  I have in my mind what I want it to be.  The reality of it, though, is that my little manuscript, the one that I have so much joy about right now, will need to be scrutinized and polished, and put through the ringer of several revisions and beta readers before it will shine the way I want it to.

So tomorrow, my friends, I will embark on my first round of revisions.  My red pens are ready, and my sticky notes and flags are stocked up, thanks to a Christmas gift from my family.  Wish me luck!

What is the most difficult part of editing that first draft for you?  Chime in with a comment!

2 comments on “The Joys (And Realities) of Completing a First Draft

  1. Congratulations on finishing your fourth novel! I’m currently editing my first, and I think the hardest part for me is being patient. I know that my novel has so much potential, but also needs a lot of work, and editing feels like a much slower process than writing right now.


    • smnystoriak says:

      Hi Kate, and thanks for commenting! Patience is very difficult. When I look at my latest, the challenge is that I remember what I was thinking when I wrote this draft, but the words don’t even come close to what I felt when writing it! But I think that’s normal…I hope! It will take me a while to make the story all it can be 🙂

      Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

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