What The Fiction Have I Done?

Or ‘What Happens After You Draft Your First Novel’

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

I wrote a novel.

{Ahem, coughs loudly} … sorry, did I mention, I WROTE A NOVEL.

So, I’m not saying it is a book. That would be way too — what’s that word again — ambitious.

But I definitely sat down in response to the #2badpagesaday writing challenge and I wrote 74,513 words over the course of 80 days. ‘Around the Words in 80 Days’, or something like that.

That, it turns out, was the easy bit.

Now I find myself reading articles called ‘11 Things Stephen King Teaches Us About Writing’ and pondering the whole writing ‘process’ as though it somehow relates to me all of a sudden.

THE most joyful thing for a person with words bursting out all over the place.

Every day there was a reason to sit down for an hour just to throw words onto a page. Every day I got to play at ‘being a writer’. Dreamy. And, the words flowed. Before 1 August I had NO idea that this story existed. It wasn’t sitting there in outline just waiting for its moment. Literally, as the bell tolled for the start of the challenge, the words started to flow. Hey, how hard can it be? I can write bad pages … as many as you like. Two bad pages a day? Well within my gift.

A title came straight away. I don’t know why, but it did and it has stuck. Oh, and a character. Maybe he’s the central character … but perhaps not. Hey, I don’t know. It turns out that, according to the books on writing, I am ‘pantsing’ it; I am literally writing whatever comes into my head at the moment I sit down to scribble my ‘bad pages’. Some days the pages are borderline ‘not bad’. The story keeps building. I realise, along the way, that the timeline is all wrong … now, where did I write that? And did that happen there? I don’t know, I’m just the writer, dammit.

Anyhow, that’s not the point.

I loved the process of flinging the words onto the page and seeing what stuck. Every day, I felt a surge of ‘something’ as I sat down to write.

Today is the second day that I am not writing—two days since I put down the (entirely metaphorical) pen after the story reached its conclusion.

What The Fiction (WTF) do I do now?

Folks say, take a break from it; come back to it in a few weeks. A few weeks? But I am missing it so. I’m curious about how my characters are and how they are getting on in the world I created for them. I miss them.

I’m not sure I know what happens next.

So, I asked some people to read it. Just a teeny handful of trusted souls who’ve kindly shown an interest. I have a couple of others in mind, but I think they’re busy. Oh, and my internet friend who has been in publishing; I sent him a copy. I know, I know, I didn’t write it as a book. It’s just a story, a novel. Not all stories are books, are they?

What next? Apparently, it’s the editing part. Leave it for a few weeks, they say, and then the hard work begins. Hard work? I’m not sure I signed up for ‘hard work’. I hadn’t thought of it that way. It’s been way too much fun.

But maybe Stephen King, who knows a thing or two about the craft, can help:

“To write is human, to edit is divine”

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A life well-lived; celebrating people, places and purpose; an encouragement to stay curious, optimistic and adventurous. Newsletter, every Sunday, 6pm sharp.

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feastsandfables

A life well-lived; celebrating people, places and purpose; an encouragement to stay curious, optimistic and adventurous. Newsletter, every Sunday, 6pm sharp.