I haven’t posted on this blog for a little while, but I have a good excuse: I was working hard on my novel!

Thanks to the July Camp NaNoWriMo, I finally finished the first draft on July 30th:

 

It felt SO good to finally put an end to that book, even if just the first one in a series. It’s the longest story I have ever written in English!

After the Camp, I worked on other stories for a couple of weeks, but my mind was not really in it. I was aching to return to the novel! So mid-August I decided to start the first revision.

I thought that some of you would be interested in my efforts in revising my first novel, so I’ve decided to give you a bit more details!

Step 1 – Reading & Annotations

Before I make any change, I need to read what I have written during those 9 months. I honestly don’t even remember some chapters, as I have gone through all this writing super fast.

Material:

  • Printed copy of the first draft. Some people like double spaced and one sided, but my novel is already 244 pages so that would be way too heavy.
  • A pen. I tried a pen with several colours but it was too annoying to change colours every time, so just a black pen.
  • A notebook.

The printed copy really helps compared to the computer because I can take it everywhere. It’s also a way to see the words differently, where I can’t edit them yet. I mark the paragraphs that need changing or entire scenes that need to be rewritten. I correct typos (can’t stand them), I cross a lot of sentences, I annotate the draft with every single thought I have.

I use the notebook for plot points that need to be changed, extensive changes and also questions that arise in my mind when I read. Things like “How does my main character know that her friend wasn’t at the warehouse that morning?”. I also write down the changes in the characters or some world building that I haven’t put in the draft.

So far, I have gone over 13 chapters out of 34. I have decided to do the first revision completely on my own, without a critique partner. There are too many changes to make in the story for someone to read it right now.

I plan to finish Step 1 by the end of September. In October, I’ll update my notes, especially the character sheets, with the new notes taken during the reading. That will be Step 2. In November, I’ll be a NaNoWriMo rebel as I will write the second draft! I don’t think I’ll be able to do it all in one month, but I hope the NaNo spirit will help me launch into it so I can finish the second draft before the end of the year.

This is a very optimistic calendar, and I have no idea of how this is going to go, so the next months are likely to be fun! Follow me on Twitter or like my page on Facebook to get all the juicy details (or, you  know… see me freak out over plot points).

Stay tuned 🙂