This week, I reached one of the major milestones when writing a story. I completed the first draft of the Georgian historical romance I have been writing.
On second thought, given how much work goes into typing “The End” on a story, maybe I should say that with a bit more enthusiasm. I completed the first draft!
However, after a little time for celebration, it will be time to get back to work. Even though my first drafts are fairly complete – this one is around 75,000 words – there is still much work to be done on the story.
I compare writing a story to building a house. Just as a house is built in stages, so is a completed story. All of the plotting I did before I started is like finalizing the blueprints for the house. And getting the first draft done is comparable to having the foundation poured and the walls framed in for a new house. It is starting to look like a real house/story but is by no means finished.
For example, even as I was writing the story, I made note of a few scenes I want to go back and add. I will also do an initial read-through to see if the story has proper pacing and if my chapters begin and end with proper hooks. This could be likened to putting in the plumbing and electrical in a new house. And once that is done, I will add layers of historical details and character emotions. Now we have the roof and drywall done.
At that point it will look very much like a finished house/story, but won’t be done just yet. There is still the matter of doing the final edits. Once the major revisions are done on a story, I will look at it one more time to look for typo’s, remove the pesky passive words I still tend to slip in, and do some general cleanup of my writing. In other words, paint the walls, install the hardwood floors, and do all of the other finishing touches
Once I reach this point, I’ll have a completed house/story. It will no longer be an idea in my head, but something anyone else can pick up (walk through) and see my vision for it. And hopefully, when I give my story to other people to read, they will not have any major changes to suggest. (Because who wants to move a bathroom once the house is completed?) Even if critiques do include suggestions for tweaks, I won’t mind because I know they are only intended to make the story even better. And I can take pride in knowing I have a sparkling, shining new story which all started with a few plans on a sheet of paper.
I write historical romances, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.