in the spirit, Kotahi Bay, publishing, writing

On finishing a first draft

I mentioned a couple of posts back that I finished the first draft of a new novel, but I didn’t really stop to dwell on that too much. It’s actually a big achievement for me because it’s the first novel I’ve written from start to finish in a really long time. Like, a REALLY long time.

In The Spirit E-Cover_SMALL FINAL_18-11-2014I’m in this pretty great position where I have lots of work waiting to be revised and published, but it was next to impossible to write anything new last year. In fact, the piece I last started/completed before this novel was In The Spirit, and that was back in the second half of 2013. And it was only a novella. I literally can’t recall the last time I wrote a full length novel. It has been far, far too long.

So completing this WiP was me shaking off the dust, finding my way again with first drafting, and pushing forward into my new life, free of study. I started writing it on November 1st, and finished up on the 13th of January. It felt like far too long, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m actually pretty happy with that. I was still attempting to adjust to life post-study, there was a weekend away, Christmas, and the draw of summertime to contend with.

And, I’m out of practice. While I love it when the words are flowing – there are moments of pure bliss – I also realized that first drafts are the thing I find the hardest. I’m good at revising and editing. I’ve done SO much of that in recent years it’s not funny. But I’m back to learning how I work and trying new things when it comes to the first draft.

It felt strange. Like I was a newborn foal or something, long gangly, awkward legs, stumbling around. I’m hoping that the next first draft I write will be a little smoother. That I’ll have grown into myself as a writer again, found my feet. I have many more projects to write, so there will be plenty of time to remaster the craft of the first draft.

It has no title yet, and won’t be revised for a little while. It falls into place as book 3 in the Kotahi Bay series. I’m diving into what will hopefully be the last major edits for book 1, The Way the Sky Curves, which will be out later this year, as well we book 2, Shell and Bone. Exciting times ahead!!! I can’t wait to publish this series!

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