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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Inspiration for Demons in Rune Mage

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In Rune Mage, summoned demons play a part in wreaking havoc in the country of Karma and serves as a point of hatred for Seiren Nithercott, the main character, due to the demons’ wildness and propensity for destruction. They are actually based on real-life creatures, up-scaled in size.

From Chapter 1:

Orange skin with reptilian spikes covering it from head the toe, the demon crawled on all fours, stumbling into the debris of the wall it had destroyed on its descent, blinded by Seiren’s rune. Long curved claws clacked on the stone ground. A large mouth stretched across most of its face from ten feet high.

A bearded dragon.

The black and white lizard featured in end of Chapter 1 and throughout Chapter 2 is an Argentinian Black and White Tegu Lizard

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Completing Rune Mage and Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017

Guess what guess what??

*screams*

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July camp NaNoWriMo is done! And also, Rune Mage is also done at 198k words and 100 chapters! My gosh, when I first started writing this in November 2016 as my NaNoWriMo project, I didn’t anticipate it to be this long. I was aiming for 100-120k and then kinda overshot. Oops.

Rune Mage has been the most Nano’d of my projects — it began its life in November 2016 as my second attempt at NaNoWriMo, and having journeyed through two camps (and the months in-between) I’m so chuffed that it’s finished before it turns a year old. Certainly my best work to date — but then again, I feel that way with every book completed.

The rest of Rune Mage will be updated daily on Radish Fiction (you can find it on the app) until its completion. The Wattpad one will be updated 2-3 times a week until completion; I would update more regularly but the algorithm can be quite unforgiving if I did that, so that’ll have to stay that way.

The next step is “what is the next step”? I have three plot bunnies waiting to be properly brewed; I also have significant editing of this story that needs to be done, now that the lore is fully established in my head — thanks mainly to my readers who ask me questions about the rules and limitations on a regular basis! Current plan is to go through the first fifty or so chapters and add in extra lore where there was confusion, mainly:

The differences between magics: flash, rune, burst

The genetics and inheritance of magic

And add more Seiren sass!

Over the next few weeks I’ll start plotting the new story. The plan is to kick it off on Radish before it will start on Wattpad… we shall see!

How did everyone fare on NaNo?

Wattys2017: Vote and Support!

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Wattys2017 is upon us! The annual Wattpad contest where Wattpadders compete for renown and recognition, for the most-read books and most-beloved stories, for the title of the best of the best!

And guess what? Both March City and Rune Mage are entered! Want to support them?

Here’s what you can do, between now and 1st August:

1) Vote on the stories
2) Add them to your reading lists
3) Tell your friends to do the same!

Want to exchange shout-outs and reading list adds? PM me!

Are you in the Watty’s?

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017

camp-2017-event-bannerJuly Camp NaNoWriMo is just round the corner! What are you guys doing for it? After the high of completing NaNoWriMo2016 and then April Camp 2017 and getting my groove back into writing — and I’m enjoying writing Rune Mage so much — I’m pretty psyched to do July Camp 2017.

The problem is as always: do I carry on with what I have and finish it as the NaNo project, or do I pick up something else I’ve been meaning to do for ages and just finish Rune Mage at a leisurely pace?

Either way, I think I’ll start plotting for a new novel during my week off next week and see if I have enough fodder to do it for Camp. If not, it’ll be Rune Mage all the way to the end.

What are you guys doing for Camp?

Boo-Yah, Camp NaNoWriMo

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27 days and 25,000 words later, I have completed Camp NaNoWriMo April 2017. My first ever NaNo camp!

*throws confetti*

25k words is manageable. I normally write about 15k words per month, so this was me sitting down a few more sessions and repeating that. It meant Rune Mage has a few more chapters under its belt so if I ever get struck with another bout of long shifts, I can still update. It also meant it gave me more time to go back to unpublished chapters and add more fodder when I get inspired.

Current word count is 138,454 and I’m hitting the climax of the story soon. Check it out here!

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Camp NaNoWriMo

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I hadn’t planned on doing this. Rune Mage for NaNoWriMo2016 was tough as it is because of work, but my friend Stef was like “Do it! Do it!” so I joined her cabin. I’ve pledged to do 25k, which is just under double my usual amount (~1.8k twice a week, about 14k a month).

Making progress so far, I think! Certainly allowing me to move ahead with the story and gives me time to have ‘spare’ chapters for when I’m too busy to write.

Word count for the novel so far is 121k and I haven’t reached the climax yet. This might be a book that’s a tad too long. Oops.