Editing a first draft – time to see if the novel makes any sense…

It’s my ambition to get a novel published at some point in the not-too-distant future, and I have been working (very slowly) towards this for a while now. Books have been started and abandoned, ideas have been jotted down and ditched … I just haven’t been very good at finishing anything. However, a little while ago I got fed up with this and realised that in order to ever have anything published, I’m going to have to finish it and actually send it out into the world. Ideas are no good if they stay in my head, no matter how much like bestseller material they might seem.

On January 1st 2016 (while my daughter was having the longest daytime nap in the world), I started writing a thriller-type story and I made up my mind that this would be the one that I will see through to the end. At first, I decided I’d self-publish it by Christmas 2016, but I think that was a bit of a far-fetched idea and when I wasn’t ready by about November, I reasoned that there was no point in rushing it and publishing a story full of stupid mistakes. So, I slowed down a bit and although I finally finished the novel in autumn last year, I went back and started thinking about the self-editing process … and that’s where I  stalled a bit.

I think I was so sick of the whole book that the thought of having to read it again all the way through and realise what a giant pile of rubbish it was put me right off. I haven’t done anything with it since.

However, in the interest of sticking to my plan and seeing it through, I have now galvanised myself into action and am ready to start editing  – and then tackling a second draft. I have read countless articles on self-editing and second drafts online and I have looked at and then talked myself out of buying how-to books off the internet (“Just do it and stop reading about it” was the theme of the talking-to on this occasion).

I know it will probably be bad, but I’m hoping there are nuggets of occasional goodness in there that will keep me going. I hope the plot makes some sort of sense and doesn’t read completely differently to how it went in my head. I hope the dialogue isn’t clunky and the characters completely unlikeable. I hope to have something done with this book by the end of this year.

Wish me luck, and I’ll let you know how I’m getting on…


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