Writing My First Novel, Part 5:
Outlining after the first draft?? 1 YEAR Reflection
As I mentioned in my last writing update, finishing the first draft of this novel was treacherous for me. And man I thought I had it bad then, but lo and behold, I never even knew the terrors of EDITING.
I mean, my god. It’s really my own fault though because when I first started writing this draft exactly 1 year ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought “oh I’ll just jump right into writing without regard to really outlining my story and I can just go back and fix everything the second time around”.
Knowing what I know now, I will never just jump into a draft without creating solid outlines first.
Because now, when I want so badly to jump back into just editing the book, I’m stuck with the hard task of really solidifying my plot, and especially my characters. And essentially, it’s boiling down to worldbuilding for my entire novel. This is something I really should have at least had a grasp on the first time around, but I was too focused on plot alone.
What happens from here?
Well, currently I am working on worldbuilding and outlining. In order to edit my first draft to create an acceptable second draft. That also includes writing in the other character POVs I intended for this story to have, as well as creating chapters. Because I didn’t do that the first time around.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still totally stoked about this project! It’s just that I hate that I feel as though I’m backtracking, and not really making any solid progress on this novel. I want to start editing, but I want the second draft to be exponentially better than the first. And I know that these are tasks I’m going to have to do at some point anyway, so I might as well get them over with now so that for every subsequent draft I can jump right into editing.
How I’m worldbuilding
Currently, I’m focusing heavily on country/culture-specific facts in order to make the world seem more real. It’s a fictional world but I’m using inspiration from the real world to help with this. Also, Pinterest is fantastic for finding cool artwork and beautiful photography to help me with settings/cultures/people/etc.
How I’m outlining
Thankfully, as I mentioned before, I pretty much have the plot all squared out. But I found myself needing to flesh out the outline for the entire series I plan to write. It’s four books, so that has taken up a bit of my time.
Additionally, though, I’m working on character development outlines, or character arcs. It became clear that I would need to flesh these out the moment I sat down to begin writing the other POV chapters. Really kicking myself for this, but I know it will be so worth it in the end!
I’m really looking forward to doing some solid outlining now so that I can begin editing and create a really strong second draft. After that, I plan to send copies out to more readers (aside from just my fiance) so that I can get a more broad and intellectual pool of advice and opinions. I might even be looking to the bookish community online for some beta readers. If you’re interested at all in reading a fantasy novel around roughly 200k (or less) words, please feel free to contact me! Click here to get to know the main character Whitney in the meantime.