I Finished My First Draft!!! Now What?

I finished the first draft of SAAFire!

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It currently stands at 359 pages (1.5 space), 101,738 words, a year of my life, and a chunk of my soul. Because I know I will entirely rewrite the first act, I don’t have the bridging scene between it and the second act, so “finished” is sort of a loosely-defined term here.

But, do you know what this means? Most debut YA fantasy novels are between 50,000 and 75,000 words. I’m at 101,000ish. I have missing scenes and I’m still 26,000 words over my final manuscript word goal! I have NO IDEA what I’m going to cut out. The new first act will probably be longer in the rewrite, not shorter.

OH MY GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TO MY POOR STORY???

I’m going to put it away for two weeks.

I had planned to bring a rewritten first chapter for the Wandering Penguins but I’d rather do a more extensive outline before starting the rewrite at all.

Instead, I will outline and write the first chapter of a Sleeping Beauty adaptation (if you cringed at “Sleeping Beauty” adaptation, stick around because this one will be fun!) idea that came to me right before bed a few days ago. I’m very excited to start that, as the general plot has pretty much formed in the back of my mind over the last few days.

So, SAAFire 1.0, my love, my baby, my part-time, unpaid internship. You are done. Time to let you sit, let my brain and my eyes recover, and time to let SAAFire 2.0 stew in my head for a few weeks before starting fresh in the next draft.

Great manuscripts are forged in rewrites. It is the privilege of lesser drafts to have terrible structure, partially-formed side characters, and a conflict that doesn’t figure itself out until the third act.

Speaking of eyes recovering, the eye strain I managed to accumulate from two 8-hour writing days back-to-back has been pretty massive. I don’t think I’ve really even fully processed this event emotionally or mentally. I’ll end this post here and go look at things in the real world for awhile, I think Zoe has been feeling a little neglected.

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Pay attention to meeeeeeee

Happy New Year!

Author: V. Kane

I write YA fantasy, blog about it, and then take my dog out for therapy. My current manuscript is ANATHEMA, a story of two sisters caught up in a war between the gods. Find me on Twitter at @ValkyrieWriting or Instagram at books_and_dogs

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