Monday, 31 January 2011

Finished My First Original Novel

Well, the first draft anyway.  It's going to sit tight for a bit and then I'll take another look at it because I am pretty sure that it will need a lot of work but The Wedding Favour is finished!

It's likely to keep the name too.  Last night, while writing the last chapter, I had a brain wave, a eureka moment!  Don't you love it when that happens?  And was able to tie in the title further within the last chapter.  Hurrah!

In the meantime I think I will swot up on chick lit and see how other writers do it.  Because having read Starting Over by Sue Moorcroft, then finishing Mistletoe and The Lost Stiletto by Liz Fielding last night, I do feel rather inadequate in my writing.  I do struggle to come up with original ways to describe stuff.

I've read a few of Liz's books now, and every time she creates a wonderful sensual tension between her characters.  I have another of Sue Moorcroft's to read, and once my bank balance has sorted itself out, I will be purchasing Want To Know A Secret?  Title alone has me intrigued.  I also have a Jill Mansell on my bookshelf, who also comes recommended.  So more reading to be done by me!

I do feel a tiny bit sad and deflated.  I mean, I've been writing about two people for nearly six months now, as I created them for the Mills and Boon New Voice competition for September 2010.  And because I just couldn't get it out of my head, I carried on with it.  These two characters took over my life, my mind, and to not write about them anymore feels... strange. 

At the moment the first draft stands somewhere close to 90,000 words, and I would like to submit it to a chick-lit publisher, rather than Mills and Boon.  (Will have to research that too at some point).  I've stretched the story out more - hopefully realistically.  It would have had to have a fast track approach to the romance with Mills and Boon and their smaller word limit.

So what am I going to do now?  I've actually got to concentrate on my coursework, get Assignment 7 finished, and I want to write a couple of short stories, or even an article, as I need to get more stuff *out there*.  The novel is a long-term plan, but short term, trying to make money from writing regularly, and as quickly as possible (so I can give up my 'weekend' job), I would like to be selling smaller pieces of work - so fingers crossed - I need to make that happen!

Therefore, while I give The Wedding Favour some breathing space, I'm going to tackle those smaller projects...


  1. Congrats on finishing! Its a great feeling to type 'the end'.

  2. Thanks, Julia. Feels kind of weird, and satisfying, too. There is still lots of work to go yet though - no doubt.

  3. Congratulations on finishing your first draft! I'm sorry you feel deflated - finishing my first draft is always a cause for celebration because I love the editing process, cutting out all the loose words and finding more gorgeous language. (It could just be that my first drafts are so drafty that they need a lot of work, of course ...)

    Thanks for the kind words re Starting Over. x

  4. Thanks, Sue. I feel deflated in the sense that I'm not writing about my characters. I'm happy to have finished it though (so that I can concentrate on other things for a bit). Just feels rather weird, fiddly thumb type weird. I look forward to the editing, though that's something I need to get more confident with - hopefully with time and experience.


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