Finishing A Draft

I’ve completed the first draft of my new novel and I feel drained. There’s been no huge rush to it, no deadline, it’s not even under contract, but it’s left me completely drained, more than the ones that have gone before it.

Why, I wondered last night? What was so different about this? It had been very hard to write in parts, quite emotional, and trying to convey what my characters were thinking without going over the top was a challenge. That was part of it, certainly. But more than that, it’s a book that’s taken me into some very dark places inside myself and forced me to explore them. I’m told that my novels are quite dark, although I’m not sure I’ve always seen it. This time, however, I wanted to look into the shadows, and it appears I’ve succeeded. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. There can be plenty of truth in those places. And without truth there’s no point to a novel.

Now I’ve put the book aside for a month. There are plenty of things that need to be changed in it, and small additions, changes to language, and all the other things a revision does. I’ll have a better idea of how well it all works when I read it through. For now, my brain is pretty much on empty. And I’m glad.

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