Posted by: Kerry Gans | January 22, 2015

First Draft of Veritas Finished

Last week I completed my first draft of my YA science fiction novel Veritas. Yes, I still have a long way to go before it’s ready to be seen by publishing professionals, but I still got as excited as a kid in a toy shop!

Why?

Because even though it’s only 70,000 words and I know I have a lot of world-building to add and a lot of revision to do, it is finished. As in, there is a story with a beginning, middle, and end. Character arcs exist. Plot arcs exist. It hangs together as a whole. And finishing any creative act is always something to celebrate—because a very large portion of people who start creative projects never finish.

So that’s one reason I am celebrating. Another is that I actually prefer the revision phase to the drafting stage. Some writers are the opposite. But I like having something to work with, something to mold. As a video editor, the most painful part of any project was finding the music and visuals needed. Once I had them, I flew! It’s the same with my writing. Whatever’s there, no matter how bad, can be worked with. I can polish, demolish, rebuild, whatever. And I can see what story I actually ended up telling—because it’s not always the one I set out to tell in the beginning. So I can see the whole picture and weave all the details into a tight mesh.

The last reason is something of a personal milestone. This is the very first novel I have written from idea to finished draft since my daughter was born 5 years ago. All the other novels I’ve worked on in that time, I had first drafts completed before her birth, and spent the ensuing years editing and polishing. I had no idea how long it would take me to write a complete first draft from scratch. In this case, it was just shy of nine months. It would have been shorter except that I do have a book with a publisher and I had to stop several times to do edits for that book in that timeframe.

But now I know approximately how long it takes me to write a book with my daughter around (it will go faster once she’s in school full time), and more importantly, I know I can still finish! I spent a significant portion of the last few years in a creative wasteland, so just getting the idea for Veritas was huge. To actually finish it?

Enormous.

Do you get giddy when you finish your first drafts? How do you celebrate/reward yourself?

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Responses

  1. Every new story completed is a major milestone. Celebration for me is short-lived, for I know the next step is extensive editing, chopping, beta reads, etc. etc.

    Congrats on your first novel. I remember my very first years ago. We had champagne, yes I was giddy. Enjoy it.

    Like

    • The celebration may be short-lived, but it is important, because so often this business feeds us rejection.

      Thanks for the congrats–it is a giddy feeling!

      Like


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