I Finished the Second Draft of My Novel!

Yup, it finally happened!

So, for my first ever revision of an entire novel, how did it go? Well, I learned a lot! And realized that there’s a lot I still have to work on.

I started this revision in January, as I told you guys in a previous blog post. So this took me almost four months, which isn’t bad, although it’s more than I had originally hoped. It was over 93,000 words, though, so maybe that’s why? Also, I ended up with a longer word count than I originally had. Only like 150 more words, but still.

First of all, I learned that printing my whole manuscript is a whole enormous and expensive hassle, but worth it in the end. I found it much easier to go over the print version first, reading every little bit of it, red pen in hand, before moving everything back onto the computer. It meant my eyes were less tired, it made it easier to catch mistakes, and honestly, it kept me from using the excuse of not wanting to turn my computer back on.

But the process of actually revising wasn’t just practical, but emotional. I had frequent moodswings while working on it. One minute, I’d be tearing my hair out, thinking that this is absolutely horrible, that it’s never going to sell, that everyone would hate it; and the next minute I’d read one sentence that I would consider my crowning achievement, the most beautiful sentence ever written.

One big thing I achieved that I was proud of was understanding my antagonist a lot more. I’d always struggled to know her motivations and personality, and she’s been through so many rewrites and different styles, but I think I finally figured out what makes her tick, and I’m so grateful for that.

Lastly, I’ve realized that I’m just really close to this manuscript, and that made it hard to edit because I was just too emotionally attached to everything. After finishing this draft, I think I’ll need a bigger break from it.

My next step should give me that break I need. I’m actually sending my manuscript to a couple of beta-readers (and my parents), and while they’ve promised to give me honest feedback, I know I won’t be getting any of this feedback for months.

So what will I be doing in this break? Well, I’m hoping to dedicate myself to other projects for a while. It felt writing this draft that inspiration hit hard for a lot of other projects, so once I take a minute to sort through all my ideas, I’m hoping to perhaps work on something else for a bit.

But this is an amazing achievement. Never in my life have I been able to hold the second draft of a novel I’ve written all by myself. I’m exceedingly proud of myself, and glad that I’ve learned something from this experience. I still have much to learn, but practice makes perfect, right?

Do you guys have any advice on editing and revising? How about next steps to go on this novel? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your own experiences and thoughts!


6 thoughts on “I Finished the Second Draft of My Novel!

  1. Well done. Probably the best advice I know is to leave it for a few weeks, get some beta readers to check it out and then go back and read it out loud after making more changes. You might end up with several drafts but by the time it gets to the editor it will be amazing.


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