Life after the first draft

So. I managed to write to the end of my first draft, my own personal ‘first hurdle‘.

Whilst I’m pleased about this, my first draft is little more than a skeleton. I have written out all my characters, the main plot and some of the themes.

I know that I still need to add considerable flesh to my characters and to their inner journeys, layer up my themes and add depth to my story world and generally tighten up the story.

I must make sure my story makes sense, that it will satisfy at least one reasonably sized reader segment. In doing this I will make a final decision on predominant genre and then add or subtract scenes, characters, themes and style to my manuscript depending.

In practical terms I am working through all of Joanna Penn’s tips on what to do when you get to the end of the first draft:

  • Structural edit – my manuscript is with my Faber Academy tutor and will shortly go to the Writers’ Workshop.
  • Beta readers – several trusted readers are looking through my story now and will look at again in June when I’ve done my post structural edit revisions.
  • Line edits – I need to look for a freelance editor to help me with this in the summer which I will do shortly.

The end of the first draft is a difficult stage to get through. I know there are many more hurdles to jump after this but if I can get past this to the next step, I’ll be pleased!