There are days when I am so excited with how far I have come with my travel memoir about my time in Africa. And there are other days when I cannot believe how long I have been slogging away at it. At the time, I felt like the first draft would never be finished. Until one day, I hit publish for the final time on my blog and it was done.
That’s when the real writing began.
After the First Draft
That first draft was important. It fleshed out the story and gave me a text to work with. All of the posts were copied into a word document and I thought that all I had to do next was a little editing here and there. How naïve…
There were chapter headings to add in and change. A Table of Contents became important, especially when I wanted to click back to previous chapters. I had to make the font style and size uniform, as well as ensure spacing, indentations and other stylistic details were consistent. Those were just the niggling, easy details though. The bigger ones had to do with editing the actual words.
Oh, how I have tormented myself and others with the many drafts since then. I now read chapter by chapter and revise accordingly. As my writing skills have improved over the years, some of this editing is challenging. There are whole sections which have been removed and others which barely resemble the original draft. But it is so much better a tale for it. And I have hope that one day I will reach the end again and be pleased with the result. Until then, the editing continues.
It certainly won’t be completed today. My cursor currently sits on page 140 of 306 pages, but progress continues to be made. Without that first draft, I wouldn’t be here today either. Knowing I had enough oomph to follow through with it keeps me tinkering. But I dream of the day when I will be able to proudly say the whole novel is done.
Until then, back to my editing…