What to do After Finishing a First Draft

After Finishing Your Novel

On 27th July 2017, Rune Mage was finished at 199k words after NaNoWriMo 2016 and two lots of Camp NaNoWriMo 2017.

Then I hit a wall. What now?

I had several plot bunnies boiling for the past few months and was too happy to jump straight into a different project, but I knew this was always my pattern ever since I started writing. Once I finished a story, it would be stowed away forever, not to be touched for years. Since I discovered Wattpad, I would get occasional commenters picking up on old plot holes, spelling/grammar errors, and general areas that could be better improved. I made a point of reading through the whole of Rune Mage again, now that I knew the ending, and added in red herrings, foreshadowing, and refined the lore now I learnt the true extent and limitations of the magic.

And, you know what? It was worth it. There were areas that didn’t add up to the ending (it had been eight months since the beginning, after all), characters who became more solid as the time went on, so conversations didn’t match up to their true nature from the beginning, and a few red herrings spiced things up.

It was also cringeworthy picking up on my typos or see where I’d been distracted and mis-typed, but nevermind.

Rune Mage is now edited at the time of writing this. I spent a whole month reading back and reliving the story, and tidying up after myself. I have a bad habit of being exceedingly under-critical of my own work, so I have a good feeling it’ll be at least a year if not more I want to rewrite.

What do you do after finishing a first draft?

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Thank You, Readers

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I will never have reached where I am today without my readers. From those who avidly chase chapter after chapter, speculate to no ends, suggest pointers for improvement or ways to make my writing more dramatic; to enthusiastic, silently supportive ones who are the first to read and leave a vote and never complain when I’m late updating; to the silent readers who add me to their reading lists and follow me from project to project. They are my life line and my motivation. I would never churn out as many words and works as I do now if not for them.

Which is why I wish to do my bit to thank them. There isn’t much I can do — I’m not a published writer, I don’t have many connections, I can’t make graphics to save my life, but I do bake great cakes. Which is why I wish to promote my followers or books they like.

Starting from today (well, last week) for the foreseeable future, any followers of mine are welcome to drop me a PM or post on my wall their works or works they have read that deserve more reads, and I will give it a shout-out to my 6k+ followers in hopes they will reach the attention they deserve.

If I get my butt organised, I’ll also post on my Facebook wall and do a blog post for them, too, depending on real-life workload.

Want your work promoted? PM me on Wattpad.

On Sale: Paladin by Sally Slater

For those who don’t know, Wattpad sensation’s Sally Slater’s debut fantasy novel Paladin is on sale on Kindle store for 99c/99p!

It’s one of the first books I read on Wattpad and I fell head over heels in love with it. Kickass heroine with genderbendering confusion and a smattering of demons, guts, and action makes this a must-read.

Grab your copy now!

Plotting: Rise of the Vengeful Dragon (Part 2)

In my previous post, I talked about how I started the plotting process for Rise of the Vengeful Dragon. After answering the major questions heading each parts of the story, all that’s left is to assemble the parts, spice them up (my annotations after the assembly are in bold), and I can start writing.

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Plotting: Rise of the Vengeful Dragon (Part 1)

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Ah, plotting. The bane of my life. And the joy of some writers. I hate plotting, but I need to know where to go when I’m writing, so I definitely need it. Initial skeleton-drawing is fairly easy, but it’s the branching out that’s so much harder. The roots are easy to take hold. The trunk grows without much trouble. Branches and leaves require the sacrifice of several internal organs before they form.

A few people in the past have asked me how I plot. I haven’t found my own style of plotting yet and have experimented with different ways of plotting over the past few novels I have written. So here it is: how I plotted Rise of the Vengeful Dragon.

To plot RotVD, initially named ‘Essence of Gisella’ as a starting chapter for a story contest, I looked to this, on PublishingCrawl: how to write a synopsis.

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Book Review: Finvarra’s Circus by Monica Sanz (DistantDreamer)

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I recently finished reading “Finvarra’s Circus” by Monica Sanz (AKA DistantDreamer), and, my, what a beautiful, haunting read.

This is the second of Monica’s books I’ve read so far, with the first being “A Witchling’s Rites” (first draft and continuing on Wattpad) and I loved it from start to finish. It follows the tale of young Leanna Weston, a girl with heart problems that rendered her disabled – physically and emotionally, the latter as a result of her family’s over-protectiveness – seeking an escape when she is forced into an arranged marriage. She’s heard the wonders of Finvarra’s circus from her mother when she was alive, and coincidentally that circus was coming to town, and was to be Leanna’s salvation.

This story — it left me reeling and breathless. I don’t cry over books (unless it involves dogs, generally — “Marley and Me” remains the only one so far) but finishing this book left me with an ache in the chest that’s both exhilaration and devastation I only ever see in a truly wonderful book.

Contains some spoilers.

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