To be fair, I’ve accomplished very little over the past week, but this was mainly due to taking a break to enjoy the holiday with my family in Florida. I’d gone down there fully intending to do some writing, but instead decided to enjoy the company and the tropical weather for a few days. My brief holiday hiatus also means that I haven’t posted yet about my most recent milestone. Hence, I decided to write this post, which will be my final Week in Review of 2018.
So, here it is:
It’s done. The Wednesday before last, I sat down and hammered out the final chapters of The Pioneer, and the first draft is finally complete.
Years ago when I finished the first draft of Wide Horizon, I found the experience deeply moving. It was the first novel I’d ever written, essentially my ultimate proof-of-concept, and after all I’d spent the better part of two years writing it. As such, I felt relieved that it was done, sad that it was over, and ultimately proud to have accomplished it. Of course, this time around was different. It took me two years to write the first draft of Wide Horizon; with The Pioneer it took six grueling months. I also knew, this time around, that finishing the first draft was not the end, but rather the end of the beginning, and much work lay ahead of me.
As such, upon completing the first draft of The Pioneer I mostly felt relief. This novel was taxing. Writing it was a fulfilling experience, but also mentally, creatively, and emotionally exhausting. While with Wide Horizon I’d been foolish enough to believe that finishing the first draft was the end of my experience with the book, this time I knew better, and thus I was mostly just glad to get it over with.
Now, I plan to take at least the rest of the year that now passes to rest. I likely won’t revisit The Pioneer until sometime in January, and even that might be pushing it, as querying Wide Horizon will likely command most of my attention, at least for a while.
When I do, in fact, return to The Pioneer, I will begin by revising the final chapters, followed by a full read-through and editing. Then the real work begins. Already, I’ve complied a list of editing notes: various things I feel I should check, reconsider, and simply change. That includes double-checking my continuity (and checking with my notes on Pathfinder to make sure it syncs up). I also plan to do a “science check”, making sure that everything works out. I have a lot of ideas of how to polish and enrich the story, and will likely be removing and adding quite a bit of material.
Once that is done, I will be opening up to beta reading. But that could be as much as a year away. Time, and patience.
That does it, both for this post and the year. I’ll be posting my Year in Review post early next week. Until then, dare to dream. – MK