1. JonnyP7200
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    JonnyP7200 New Member

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    First Novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JonnyP7200, Sep 21, 2014.

    Hi everyone - first time poster here after reading for quite some time!

    I've started several novels over the last couple of years and I'm pleased to say today I finished the first ever complete draft of one - 83,456 words in 55 days.

    I'm pretty chuffed at achieving this (as I rarely stick to anything long enough to see it through) but I have to say, I can't help but feel just a little anticlimactic about the whole thing.

    Maybe its because I know that I've got a whole heap of editing ahead of me but I wonder if its also the lack of a focal project that has been all consuming for the last two months.

    So basically my question is - do other people feel like this after they've finished too or am I just being a bit pathetic?!

    Thanks,

    WO
     
  2. Empty Bird
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    Empty Bird Member

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    Aw! Congratulations, you! It's a big accomplishment! A lot of people can't finish a book, and that you have is incredible all itself

    So, well done and stuff!

    When I finished my book, I was so excited I sat at the printer watching each page slip through the machine, so I've got to be honest and say that it wasn't that anticlimactic for me. Perhaps it is the idea of editting that's putting you off, I'm not too sure...

    I don't think you're bieng pathetic! Perhaps you need to shelve it for a while and then come back to it, though. Poring over it for ages and ages isn't good for you, and it will give you timem to scrape together your enthusiasm! At times, I think it's normal to get sick of reading what you've written because...well...it's work, right? It's hard getting those sentences right, having John Bob sound like John Bob and-dammit, Emma! Why the heck did you do that?? It completely messes up the whole flow!

    So basically, perhaps you've just got to change your view on how you're looking at your story. It's still ongoing! It'll be incredible when it's done. See it as the new stage of your story.

    And congratulations, once again! :)
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    First congrats and welcome to the site!

    I know the feeling. I get more jazzed over finishing a short story rather than a novel. Because I know the novel needs more work and it's going to take so much extra time. Plus you have no idea when it will be finished, but with a short it always feels like there's an end in sight.

    But on the bright side don't be so hard on yourself - the first draft means you have something to work with, that's more than half the battle.
     
  4. JonnyP7200
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    JonnyP7200 New Member

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    Thanks Empty Bird!

    I have to say I am really looking forward to printing it off properly tomorrow when I get into work. I think having the thing in my hands will make it seem more real.

    I've been pretty inspired by Stephen King's On Writing throughout, dipping into it whenever I've struggled, and he advises the same as you - basically shove it in a drawer and get on with something else while it proves like a loaf - so I'm going to do just that and crack on with a new project in the meantime.

    Have gotten into a really good routine of finding writing time and don't want to throw that down the sink. If I've learnt anything from the process, I would say that sitting down and putting one word in front of the other is by far the most important part.
     
  5. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Yes.

    The minute I typed the last sentence of my first novel, I sat and cried. It had taken over my life for seven months prior to that point and the first thought in my head, (before I even thought about editing) was "what the hell am I supposed to do now?"

    So yes, the feeling of suddenly having nothing to focus on, does leave you feeling a little bereft.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    When I finished the first draft of my novel, I felt a warm glow for an evening. I poured myself some fine whiskey and enjoyed it.

    But the next morning, I felt a bit like you do. A bit cold, a bit empty. Maybe like a parent whose child finally grows up and moves out of the house. After all that work and all that love, the house is empty and quiet and you feel very lonely.

    Get a new project going and let your draft rest in a drawer for a while, as King suggests. After a few weeks of thinking about something else, come back and get into your revisions. You will definitely need to do your revisions - nothing is ever perfect in first draft form.

    You'll get through this!

    By the way, welcome to the forum! Read the New Member Quick Start Guide - it'll get you going around here. Best of luck with the novel! :)
     
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  7. JonnyP7200
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    JonnyP7200 New Member

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    Peachalulu, Cutecat22 and minstrel - thanks for replying...glad to know that it seems fairly normal to have these feelings.

    Onwards and upwards!
     
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