On Completing the First Draft of the Starry Rise

On the evening of January 28th, I completed the first draft of The Starry Rise. Like the previous books, I set a goal of 120k words, and my final word count for this first draft is 131,735.

And how do I feel?

I feel good. I thought I might be ecstatic, but I feel more relieved than anything. Dealing with a bad back during the last ten chapters of the book put a damper on my inner joy. Punching the air with a hoot was replaced with carefully lying in bed with an icepack and a big grin on my face.

How did I celebrate?

Went out to the movies. Watched Insidious 4. Not terrible, not great, but had some good intense moments, and I can’t help but feel that this installment is setting up a spin off of some sort. We had the benefit of sitting in newly installed leather reclining chairs at the theatre, which was a bonus for me. Unfortunately, I can’t sit for too long a time, and I was able to lay back on my side toward the end of the movie.

What are my thoughts on the first draft of The Starry Rise?

In certain chapters I got so caught up in writing the main thread of the story that some characters and props were never mentioned, so it’s a bit messier than I care for.

Even with a summary outline of the entire story, I adjusted it along the way and came to the same destination but with a different theme then the one that was intended.

Telling a story involves a lot of decision making, and my ability to make those decisions and work with them, came considerably faster compared to the first book in the trilogy.

Some characters came to life in surprising ways, but one in particular didn’t seem to come to life at all, until I realized she was in survivor mode.

No words or ideas are set in stone.

What’s next?

With the heart of the story out of my system, I can begin the first stage of revision, which is my first read through. With the story still fresh in my mind, I gather up all my notes, and go through them all to determine what has been left out and what is no longer relevant. I also reevaluate my choices, keeping an eye out for characters or props that have disappeared, look for more interesting places to break chapters if they are on the longish side, make revisions, do rewrites, and correct any typos or spellings. This is my first opportunity to re-mold the story to my preference, before I pass it along to my first reader.

I’m currently preparing notes and style sheets to assist me with my first read through and plan to get onto it starting Monday. If you’re watching the Words in Progress meter posted in the right hand menu, I will be switching it over to track my progress as I prepare the second draft.

That’s all for now.



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