I did it. Today I finished the first draft of my young adult project. It’s been an incredible ride. The last three days have been intense for me. After deciding to chain myself down and knock out this ending, I really made myself proud. I wrote chapter 24 on Monday, chapter 25 on Tuesday, and I just finished chapter 26 a few minutes ago.
This first draft contains 26 chapters, 75,515 words, and took me 75 days to write. Unheard of for me. And incredibly interesting. If you remember, when I first started this project, I laughed about my ability to write 1,000 words a day, because my writing habits are inconsistent and I don’t write every day. But check out those numbers. 75,000 words in 75 days. I still managed to average 1,000 words a day.
So, what happens now? Life gets a little more complicated. As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, now I actually have to do something with the story. First things first, though. I need a break. I’ve taken little ones here and there throughout this project, but this one actually has a purpose. It’s a common warning to not go straight from finishing a project into editing it. It needs time to marinate, and the author needs to take a step back and distance themselves. So, I’ll be spending the next week or two drowning myself in library books and resting my creative genius.
When I’m ready, I’ll begin my first round of edits. I’m not very good at editing myself. I tend to believe I do things right the first time, and finding a different way to look at it doesn’t come easily to me. But, there are a few things that came to mind while I was working, and I need to fix those things.
Then I’ll get ahold of my beta readers. I used four for Origins, and I think they did a good job. I need to contact them and see if they would be willing to read for me again. Their feedback will identify the flaws I can’t see myself.
After that, we’ll see how it goes. I’ll probably be editing for most of the summer. I’m also considering hiring a professional editor, to make absolutely sure it’s in the best shape it can be for submission.
For now, though, it’s time to simply breathe. Take it in. I wrote a book.