Oh yes, yes, yes, that's right, last night I finished the first draft of my next book! Well, actually, my second draft, too, I suppose. Every time I finished writing a chapter I went back and redrafted it to squeeze in another opportunity to improve it. But the point is that last night I finished the final chapter!
I started it back in March 2016, and it's taken a lot of work, but I've finally finished the first book. Unlike the last, which really should have been split into two (it sort of got away from me), this time I had a more solid technical plan and knew from the start that it would be two. It seems to have worked out very well that way, and is a much, much better story than The Archguardians of Laceria. I'm so proud of it!
But if I'm honest, I don't feel quite right celebrating. I'm well aware that there's still a lot of work ahead for this book - it will need more redrafting and editing - and the story is far from finished because I still have the second book to write. But at the same time...I can't help smiling every time I think about the fact that I've reached a big milestone. I even allowed myself a couple of chocolates in celebration last night (yeah, that whole 'sick to death of chocolate' thing didn't last very long).
Tonight I start the third draft, which means going right back to chapter 1. I've already taken a look at it, and while I was happy with it 13 months and 8 days ago, I am not now. But the first few chapters are so important, and also often some of the worst written because they're the first you do - you have to get your mind out of planning and bullet-point mode and into prose, which is difficult, and why that first chapter has - now I think about it - been through probably five drafts already. But it takes what it takes, and I really do love doing it, so my writing never feels like work.
I also have to design my book cover, but I've got that planned out: summer's coming, apparently, and that means that the field behind my house will get a lot noisier, and on a night teenagers go out there and play their god-awful music. With my synaesthesia, it's impossible for me to write or read when I can hear music, but that gives me the perfect opportunity to turn my hand to other creative outlets - such as digital art. So I'm hoping to get the cover design in July/August, and hopefully do some character portraits, too. I wanted to do that for Archguardians but I'm more interested in writing than in drawing, and when I eventually had the opportunity last summer I was working on this book instead and lost all interest in drawing previous characters
who may or may not be dead.
So I'd like to embrace the opportunity when it comes around this time!
You can be sure I'll update you when I...have something to share I suppose. This is another long process, but one with another milestone at the end. And I will, again, be rewarded in chocolate.