I’m a few thousand words into the second draft of my novel. It’s amazing to me that it has taken approximately 100,000 words to get to the point where I am ready to start actually writing the story. I’ve realised that the first draft was more or less just a very detailed outline. From that, I got a structure and plot. But it wasn’t until I started rewriting that I found the voice of the story.
Even apparently basic decisions, such as what tense and pov to write in, eluded me until now. And basic aspects of characterisation and setting were also very muddy. It’s made me realise that the first draft is really just to get the bones of the story down, and it’s this draft where I feel that I am actually writing.
When I wrote the first draft, I was churning out thousands of words every day – I think about 10,000 was my highest word count for a single day. But now my words per hour have dropped drastically to about 600 – 700. That is about half what I would normally expect to write in an hour on a story. But I can see why it’s so slow: I have to be careful now, to stay in the voice of the story. Every word must speak the story.
I still don’t know some basic things, like whether or not it’s going to be worth reading in the end. I don’t think I’ll be able to know that until this draft is finished. I still want to write it, and I am still interested in it, so I’ll take that as a good sign.
And so to work!