I’ve heard it said that because creating a novel takes so much time, it’s important to celebrate the milestones. So today I’m reporting that I’ve finished the first draft of my YA historical WIP! By the way, it took 18 months for Cynisca to get to this point, not including the months I was doing pure research.
But even though I know that capturing the story floating in my head onto paper/hard drive is an accomplishment, I’m less excited about having typed “THE END” and more distracted by the list of things-that-still-must-be-done, including:
- Proofreading version 4 of Chapter 1
- Reconciling the manuscript to match the revised Chapter 1
- Reviewing and incorporating my critique group’s comments for Chapters 27-29
Oh, and there’s also the matter of writing my query and synopsis.
I had hoped to have the manuscript ready to query by mid-summer so it’s a little frustrating that it’s mid-June and so much remains to be done. Still, I’m in better shape than I was when I got to this point with my previous manuscript. First draft for Novel #1 weighed in at 156,000 words, which, if you know anything about publishing and word counts, is WAY WAY WAY too long for a debut work and was a bear to edit down. The first draft for Cynisca lands at 65,000 words, right within acceptable YA novel range. Plus, this time around, I got feedback from my critique group as I wrote, so I’m hoping the editing rounds will go faster.
So perhaps I’m a bit stingy with myself, constantly looking forward instead of savoring/celebrating this milestone. But I will take an extended soymilk break (I don’t drink coffee) to remember that bit of Spartan history that sparked inspiration and marvel at the fact that I’ve now got something with a beginning, middle, and end that tells the tale.
Then I’ll get cracking on the edits.
So, to the writers out there, what are your writing milestones? And how do you celebrate them?