Well, it’s done. I finished the story at 1.20am last night.
I feel a little lost this morning, normally I’d be wanting to dive into the writing by now and today…
My plan now is to let it sit for a week, then start on edits next weekend. I have lots of reading to catch up on for my crit group, and I want to read published books with similar themes to mine to see how they handled it (didn’t want to do that before I first draft as I would unconsciously plagiarise for sure!).
I do feel that I’d like to do something on it today. Maybe I’ll set up a Haven Bay cardfile in a program I have, because this is first in a series and I need to keep my facts straight. I don’t want widowed Sally who runs the pub from Book 1 to be newly married to her first husband in Book 2, or Sadie Briggs the Postwoman to play a key role when she started off as the 92 year old next-door-neighbour!
What I’ve learned-
- I can do it. This is the longest period of sustained high volume writing I’ve done, and I stayed with it. I worried that if some miracle happened and my circumstances changed allowing me to write full time, I’d still not get anything done. Though a lot of the pressure to keep writing came from knowing no matter how far short of my goal I was, I have to go back to the Day Job tomorrow, I’ve proved to myself that I can do it- produce a lot of words quickly to a tight deadline.
- I probably do have ways of creating more working time in my “normal” working day, no matter how busy it is
- Pantsing works for me, as long as I know my characters and their relationship blocks well. Unlike last year’s disastrous Book in a Week where I did a lot of pre-planning yet totally lost the plot, all I had to do this time was keep asking myself the question- how does this affect the hero and heroine and their relationship?
- Following on from above- if I sit down and have no idea what to write, all I need to ask is- what logically happens next? How would the characters respond to the situation and each other? I never found myself getting stuck and having to worry what to write next. If I feel stuck, I need to get into the characters head and heart more.
So overall, it’s been a fabulous learning experience for me. Of course, I’m not claiming what I’ve written is any good. There will probably be plenty of cringe moments when I read it back. And the job is not even half done. Now comes editing, refining, layering in more depth, more emotion, more sensuality, more lusciousness.
But it’s been a fun ride!