I’m once again finding myself in the vast green land of Re-Writes. To be honest, I think this might be my favorite part of novel-creation. The rough draft is hard because I’m not sure where the story is supposed to be going, and then later, edits are monotonous and they just take forever.
But in between those two, there are Re-Writes. For me, this is the sweet spot of writing. It’s the mysterious Wood Between the Worlds, where the real story starts to take place.
Right now I’m working on a fun, snarky, YA urban-fantasy novel that I originally wrote for NaNoWriMo in 2015. After a year and a half of very little love, it’s finally getting the attention it deserves. Because here’s the thing: in NaNo, I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted the plot to be. I knew very little going into that November, and just hard-core ‘Pantsed’ my way through the month (in other words, behaved like a Pantser, or one who flies by the seat of their pants when writing as opposed to outlining first). So then on December 1st, I was left with 50,002 words of cool characters, a great voice, a fantastic world, and very rambling plot. So now I’m taking all those things and adding characters, tension, and a real plot. In other words, I’m doing re-writes.
And it’s amazing. I’ve already written the rough draft, so I’m that much closer to having a complete, ready-to-share-with-the-world story. (Or at least share with my mom.) The fact that the rough draft is already done gives me strength and hope.
But also, I’m still in the writing phase (I’m creating like 10 new chapters out of nowhere), which is the best because WRITING IS FUN. And since I’ve written the end of the story (or a version of the end), I know where this needs to go. I know (sortof) what needs to happen. I have the bare-bones story, and I can then add in a plot: complete with conflict, stakes, and motivation.
So, yeah. Remember this quote?
I love this quote. I live by this quote.
For this novel, I’ve written the rough draft. I’ve hauled in the sand.
And now, my friends, it’s time to start building castles.