Just for the record, I WAS finished with the first draft. Honest.
I wrote the rough draft for NaNoWriMo last year, chopped off two sections, rewrote the entire thing and was going to call it good. I just had a small list of things I needed to rework- polish how I discuss ziggy’s adopted mother, mention the king’s son, make Ziggy’s cousin and aunt more antagonistic, etc. There are 21 changes that I wanted to make for this book before I distributed the draft.
It was supposed to be just a simple todo list, however between the time I started the first draft and ended it, I read a great book called Manuscript Makeover. It’s an excellent book that covers a quite a few noob writer mistakes. I said “Oh, crap that’s a good point” quite a bit. As I read the book, I began implementing it’s suggestions in my own writing.
I didn’t realize how much of a difference it had made until I began rereading the first section of my book- it was painful. Everything was past tense, and while that’s expected from an “autobiography,” there are plenty of places where I could show conversations rather than mention them happening in passing. If everything is past tense, it reads like a history book rather than a novel (if everything has already happened, so why bother investing in the story?).
On on e hand, there’s supposed to be ramp-up within the book towards the climax, the beginning would have been too slow to keep anyone’s attention. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t show your book to anyone until the third draft, and I can see why. Even now as I rewrite section 1, I see places I’ll have to go back an polish. The first three sections all need this same treatment to be honest.
The frustrating thing is NaNoWriMo is almost here and I’m wasting October on the first book rather than planning for the second. I figure I have until the 15th until I really have to buckle down and start preparing for the second book. So to anyone who wanted to review, you’ll probably have to wait a little longer…