This guy is reading the end of a book…because I finished revising mine!

The feeling of completing a revision is similar to completing the first draft. Yet the excitement and elation comes from very different places. When I completed my rough draft. I was happy because I finished a story. It had a beginning, middle, and end. I thought then, that I had a novel. After taking two weeks off, I booted up my word document, and was horrified to see that what I had was in fact, a story. The components of a novel had all been laid out, but the telling of them was sloppy. It was not yet a narrative. I could not, in good faith, place a copy of it in the hands of my friends and readers, and ask them to read it. It was pretty much unreadable to anyone but me, who could fill in all the missing pieces of the story, and understand the intention behind much of the clunky prose.

I am certain that the condition my novel is in now, is by no means perfect. Those beta readers I have been fortunate enough to have, who have been reading two chapters at a time, have shown me that, even on my best day, my ability to edit myself is highly flawed. Not just spelling errors and grammatical mistakes, of which my readers find many, but things I simply left out. Such as a character’s age.

In revising the end of my novel, I was pleased that the writing was better. I actually yelled at my characters, the way I do in books written by actual professionals. This made me feel I was certainly doing something right. Unfortunately, I am already sure that some of the information I need to put in to make the ending feel earned, will require yet more editing and revising. However, that is to turn what is now a good story, into a better one.

Now I feel my story is a true narrative. One that might be slightly clumsily written, but that anyone could pick up and read. They could follow it from beginning to end, and not be confused.

Celebrating this is fun, but it feels very different than when I completed my first draft. Then I was excited because I personally had crafted a complete story, whereas now, I am happy that others will get to read it. This makes me much happier, because in addition to a personal victory, it is one I can share with others.

I now have the excitement and dread of dealing with full critiques of my manuscript. I think I might need to invest in a case of wine.

The word count when the rough draft was finished was:  91,524

The word count as of now is: 92,685


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