aside from the proofread of my entire novel that i’ll do next month before my final deadline, chapters one through ten of my novel are in semi-final draft mode.
what does semi-final draft mean?
i’m using the term semi-final draft because there will be more work I need to do on this book after graduation. I will need to do more research, and that always leads to revision. but it’s research I need to travel for and I just don’t have the time between now and the end of the semester, as i’ve mentioned in previous posts.
that said, without diving down into that rabbit hole (which is, honestly, a lot of fun), these chapters are in a place i’m happy with. because they’re a part of the book I worked on last semester, they’ve been through more drafts than the rest of it—but they’re also more of a hodgepodge.
what this work involved
there were four chapters that had to be completely re-written from scratch after my big chapter cull of about a month ago. I've deleted thousands of words, and written thousands of new words.
the great part about going back to the beginning after working on the end of the book is that knowing where I want my protagonist to end up, I was able to bring some of her flaws to life more in these early chapters. her transformation will be more noticeable now.
and in a way, that’s what this last major round of revisions for this semester is about—fleshing out her inner emotional journey. I spent the last several drafts figuring out what I want to happen externally, and while some things might still be tweaked a bit—something I fully expect when I start digging deeper into research—it was her inner journey that needed most of my attention.
i’m about halfway through part one. what will come next will be somewhat grueling as the remainder of this section is still from the first half of last semester, when my protagonist was seven years younger and the story was written from third-person pov.
now she’s an older teen and the story is written in first-person. I had started the process of switching over but had to stop to focus on other parts of the book because of school deadlines. I have a feeling the bulk of my work for the next week—maybe two—will be devoted solely to finishing the process of getting those chapters in the right poverties and my protagonist to the right age.
I have a feeling i’ll be dragging out my music playlist I made for this book, as that’s the kind of work that requires absolute focus—at least for me.
final thoughts for the next week
I have kind of a busy week. events and starting a new job will require no small amount of energy—though all of these are things I look forward to. so during the week I will have to be kind to myself if I don’t meet a daily goal, though I am being somewhat lenient of one chapter a day for the next five days.
we’ll see how it goes. I have my schedule, but I will adjust if I need to. i’m in the home stretch for school, and well on my way to what I think will be a solid draft to take to the heavy research phase.
for those of you who may want to try your hand at historical fiction, here’s a disclaimer:
under normal circumstances, I would do the bulk of my research before writing. I have done quite a bit for this book, but there is still a lot I have to do. school deadlines have changed what would be my usual approach. if you want to try writing historical fiction, here’s my suggestion:
start doing some research and see which stories jump out at you. try some short stories first so you don’t get invested in a novel before you know if you like it. I love it, and every historical fiction writer i’ve met has expressed the same or something similar…but it’s also not for everyone.
no matter what the next month and change brings, those days and weeks will bring creative progress, and that, in and of itself, is a wonderful aim.