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Month: August 2021

End of August 2021

Hi Everyone,

I’m back again for another update. I’ve been swamped with work and stuff at home. I’m currently on lunch and thought I should post another update before September!

Over the past 10 days or so, I did a quick run through of my 6th draft to catch any errors and hopefully get it to a more finalized form. Maybe not enough to warrant a Draft 7. When things calm down a bit, I’m hoping to do one more full read through and catch any hidden errors and issues I missed in the quick pass through.

Meanwhile, I’m also beginning to research on the next steps. I’ve decided to set my goal to getting published traditionally rather than self-publishing. I’m looking up literary agents, how to write query letters, and trying to come up with how to best represent my novel. It is really kind of scary thinking about sending this out to these amazing people who review and decide which novels are worth the risk. It’s also really exciting to finally get to share it and possibly move onto the next stage. The ultimate hopes are that my characters and story can mean as much to someone else as they do to me.

I’m hoping at some point I can share a synopsis about my novel, but I’ve been holding off sharing too much on it until I figure some of these things out.

For now all I’ll say is, it is a Young Adult, Supernatural, Modern Fantasy novel about overcoming the hardships life gives you, building relationships, and learning to love yourself.

That’s about as vague as I can get… Until next time!

Current Wordcount: 89,582

Completed the Fifth Draft

First of all, I apologize in advance if this blog post is incoherent. I’m really sleepy right now. I’ve been busy all weekend dealing with one chaotic thing after another. It’ll probably continue well into September. Anyways…

I’m a day early, and my 5th draft has been completed. Somehow, I ended up finishing my two longest chapters on the same day instead of sticking to my one-a-day goal. I’m planning on one more pass through my novel before declaring it complete. I’m feeling good at this point at where it’s at. My last draft will mainly be line editing, trying to catch any hidden typos, bad grammar, and so on. The plot, and characters I feel I’ve gotten to a place I’m finally happy with.

I’m so excited for my story to be completed and to move onto the next stage. The only thing I hope is that when I finally do share these character’s story, they are able to mean as much to you as they do to me.

Total Word Count for the 5th draft is 89,724.

Quick Update

Hello again everyone,

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been almost two weeks since my last post! I took one day off since completing Draft 4 and have been setting my goal to edit one chapter a day. So last night, I finished Chapter 12! This has definitely been my fastest revision yet. I’ve got three more chapters to go to complete Draft 5. If I stick to my goal, I should be able to finish Draft 5 by Sunday! The next two chapters are the longest in the book, so it’ll definitely be a challenge.

I’m fairly certain that I’ll be doing a Draft 6 as my final pass-through. It’ll be my last round of line editing, making sure plot points line up, and that everything feels correct. I’m really excited to finally be so close to finishing this book! At least this stage of it.

I’ll see you again once I complete draft 5!

Officially Finished Draft 4

I’ve completed Draft 4 of my novel! I’m not sure, but editing might be more work than actually writing. I feel really emotional every time I get through the ending. I really hope that someday I’m able to share these characters and their story with you all, and hopefully, you feel the same emotional connection.

Before I get all sappy, I thought it would be fun to do a quick breakdown of what I’ve accomplished with each draft.

Breakdown of Drafts

Draft 1
My first draft consisted of writing every day for 4-5 months. I finished it with right around 107,000 words. It was full of errors, typos, rambling, broken plot points, and so on. However, it had a beginning, a middle, and an ending.

Draft 2
After letting Draft 1 marinate for a good decade or so, I picked it up and began to line edit. Fixing all of my typos and adjusting the formatting so it wasn’t giant walls of text. Making lots of notes on plot points and storylines that either got lost or didn’t work.

Draft 3
I began revising and reworking elements of the story to fit together better. There were a lot of details that I didn’t need, and some plot devices that I introduced but never used. I also threw out the entire last chapter and reworked the ending. The original final chapter had always bothered me and I didn’t like it. At the end of this draft I was at around 95,000 words. That shows how much fat I trimmed from it!

Draft 4
I continued tightening up the story, and rewriting a lot of paragraphs to make them more consistent. It’s feeling so much closer to completion, but there are still some places I want to work on. At the end of this draft had trimmed it to, 90,070 words! Holy moly, that’s around 17,000 words I’ve trimmed since the beginning. Need any further indicators on how much I can ramble?

Draft 5
I haven’t started it yet… However, I do have a plan. There are a few more plot points I’ve noted that I need to rework and fix up. I’m also planning on fixing my dialogue in this draft so that it is consistent and hopefully flows better.

Draft 6
Oh no, I’m already planning Draft 6. This should be the FINAL DRAFT. I’ll go through the entire novel one more time, trying to catch any typos, grammatical errors, wonky dialogue, confusing plot points, and whatever else I missed during the first 5 drafts.

From that point, I should be done with my revisions

 

Introduction

Hello and thank you for visiting my website!

I finally feel like I’m close to completing my first novel, so I thought it might be a good time to start setting up some sort of online presence. I’m somewhat of a socially-anxious recluse and don’t participate in social media (at least not until now.)

Even though I could write out my whole life story in this post, I’ll save it for my about page. I’m starting this blog (and twitter) to push myself out of my comfort zone and get my thoughts out in the wild. For too long, I’ve hidden away in fear of not being good enough to put any of my work out there. Honestly, I’m still quite anxious about the whole thing, but I’ll never get anywhere if I don’t try.

During the pandemic, I started getting into reading again. It was something I’d put out of my hobbies for several years. The more I read, the more I felt inspired to work on my own worlds. This led me on an adventure through my past literary attempts. Before college, and working full-time, I’d actually devoted quite a bit of time to dreaming up various unfinished fantasy worlds.

The Novel

There was one story in particular that I’d written during a particular rough time in my life. I’d started it during National Novel Writing Month, blew past the 50,000 word goal and kept writing into the the next year to an ultimate 110,000 words. It felt amazing to finally finish a story, and to finish at such a magnitude was incredible to me at the time. Afterwards, I locked it away. Moved on with my life and never wrote anything like it again.

Then the great 2020 Pandemic happened. As mentioned earlier, I started reading a ton of novels. I was reading every night before bed. I finally decided it was time to revisit my creation and look at it was new eyes after so many years. I was instantly swept back into it, as the characters I’d created came back to me. It felt like I’d met up with my long lost family, and I didn’t realize how much I’d missed them.

It was time to get to work. I began by reading through my first draft, which was absolutely awfully formatted and honestly embarrassing. I slowly reworked and rewrote each paragraph to flow better and fix some of my terrible old grammar. Then I worked on refining parts of the plot, character development, and other issues that weren’t very apparent on my first writing

After several months of daily work, I’ve nearly completed my third revision. Currently it is around 92,000 words. I’m planning a fourth revision to tie up a few loose plot threads and fix my dialogue. After that, I believe I will have taken my editing as far as I can possibly take it alone…At least without nitpicking for the next ten years. Maybe at that point I’ll have the courage to start submitting it to some professionals.

So here we go, this journey starts here.

 

© 2021 E.B. Alderson