As I said last week, my official 2017 NaNo was finished in 14 days. Yesterday, I validated The Fate of the Immortal’s Assistant and got my fancy little graphic to let everyone know that I am, indeed, a winner.
But when I think of this first draft, I don’t feel very much like one.
Two weeks ago, I talked about how hard this particular NaNo was for me. And it was. Start to finish, I hit more snags than I did grooves, creating a stressful drag that I did not enjoy. Even more frustrating is that, at least in my head, I like this story. I like the characters. I like the setting. I like the whole thing.
I just struggled mightily getting everything I liked down on the page.
As soon as I was finished writing the final words of the first draft, I wrote revision notes on the first page. I’ve never done that before because I typically like the story to sit for a few weeks at least before I read it again with fresh eyes and make my notes. But this time, there was no need to wait. I knew before I finished writing the first draft the major problems that need to be fixed. And I’m sure I’ll find more when I read it again when it comes time to do the revisions.
Looking back, I think getting off on the wrong foot really set the tone of draft. I normally have that first line, that first scene waiting for me, and this time, I really didn’t. Instead, I started in the wrong place, too early in the story. What I wrote the first two days, I think, was pointless. Some of it can be salvaged for later on in the story, maybe, but it was a bad place to start. And instead of starting over, I powered through. The story had trouble flowing because I’d already built a damn.
The revisions are no doubt going to be extensive and exhausting, but thankfully, I don’t have to worry about them for a little while. At least not until early next year. But, this NaNo has definitely been a very good lesson, a hard one, a lesson that I didn’t know I needed to learn because I thought I’d already learned it.
Start your story off on the right foot and the journey will be a whole lot smoother.