I just finished writing the second draft of my 100,000 word novel. I mean just finished, as in today. The second draft is always harder to write, at least for me, when my creative mind has to take a vacation so that my analytic mind can get to work wringing out the kinks, working through plot holes, and making sure that the happily ever after is not only justified, but earned.
It was a scary feeling typing out the final words: The End (for the second time) and my fingers hovered above the keys for a minute or two, not quite pushing the buttons. On my first draft those two words are freeing but on my second draft, they are downright frightening. The story line is really finished. Sure I can polish it up, but I will forever after be a visitor to this fictional world, no longer it’s god.
After writing The End (for the second time) I put my laptop away and vowed not to write anything novel related for an entire week, a mental health holiday so to speak. I got as far as unplugging it before I panicked. An entire week? What was I going to do?
The cool part of me that used to come out in my pre-novel writing days stepped forward, handing me a whole list of things to occupy my time: TV, video games, shopping, yoga class, or possibly even *gulp* read someone else’s novel. There were other things to do besides writing books, and I actually had the time to do them.
But deep inside I was terrified. There was a lot of empty space between now and next Monday. The world had moved on while I was writing my book. I wasn’t sure I could catch up.
I looked out the window. The sun was shining. It was spring. When did that happen?
I could do this, I thought. There is a world out there and I can live in it again. And when I return I will clean up my prose, send the manuscript to my editor and figure what to do with my life next.
I’m guessing it will involve writing the first draft of another novel. And then the second.
(by April Aasheim...originally published at TIE http://networkedblogs.com/JYK0b)