I’m currently sitting in a one-bedroom apartment where I’ll be spending X amount of days getting started on the 3rd draft of my novel. I was very lucky to have this getaway opportunity because a change of scenery usually helps me focus on the task at hand (I did a similar trip last year for those who don’t know – read about it here).
My novel was sent out to a total of seven beta-readers at the start of November but I lost two of them on the way (for various reasons). Four people have now read the whole book and given me their thoughts, and the last one will be done in the near future (no stress buddy if you’re reading this). Regardless, I now feel I have enough meat on the bone to get things underway. The general opinon seems to be I’ve written an exciting fantasy novel that hopefully brings something fresh to the table. The book is not without its faults, obviously, so now I’m sorting through all their comments so I can adress the most glaring issues the novel faces.
But let’s back up a bit first and see how we got here.
Writing the 1st draft was relatively easy compared to this stage of the process (which is kinda crazy because it was by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done). You have this story you want to tell and you write it. It doesn’t matter how shitty it is, your sole focus is to get the words on the paper. There are no shortcuts or nothing. You write, sacrifice sleep/other hobbies/social life then you write some more.
The 2nd draft was a joyful experience, let me tell ya. You take that dirty 1st draft of yours and you force it into the shower, scrub off the dirt and then you dress it up in fancy clothes. Spray some perfume on it for the final touches and voilá! You have something that’s actually presentable to others.
Which brings us to the 3rd fucking draft…
The challenge at this stage is to balance my own vision for the book versus the feedback from the betas. If more than one person adressed something as a problem it’s pretty clear that particular issue indeed is a problem. But then I have those cases where only one person mentioned something bothering them… do I attempt to fix that or should I leave it be? And then we have the avalanche effect of things… If I change something there it means I must also change that and so on. Yeah… there you have it.
Well, there’s only one way to go and that’s forward. Wish me luck!