A Quick Update: Finishing My First Novel

I know I haven’t posted anything in a long while. In my defense, I’ve had quite a few changes in my professional life. But one thing I’ve been working on steadily is my first novel, and I’m finally three chapters away from the end of its third and final(ish) draft!

I say “ish” because I still have to proofread and format it, but once this draft is finished, I’ll officially be done tweaking the story.

It feels strange to say that. This novel has been with me for over three years now (I’m seeing a three motif in this post). It’s been with me through two diagnoses, a brain surgery, a bout of depression, and the loss of a family member, and that’s just all of the sad things.

I’ve been working on Kulebra so long that there were times I thought I’d never finish it. I thought I’d give up and move on to something else or give up on writing altogether. I’ve never had anyone outside my family and close friends read my stories before, so sending my second draft off to an editor was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I tend to be sensitive, so even though I knew the critiques would hurt, and I knew they would be for my own and the book’s own good, I wasn’t prepared for the embarrassment I’d feel at having let someone read something less than perfect and pull out all of its flaws for me to see. And I know this book will never be perfect. Nothing I ever create will be. But I think some part of me hoped that it wouldn’t be “that bad”, and when it was, I had to mourn a little that I couldn’t do my story justice.

But after mourning, I started working on the 3rd draft. This last draft is still technically the 3rd draft, but I could call it the 4th or 5th since it’s taken me over a year tacking the plot and characters from several different angles to address all the editor’s notes (my editor was Tammy from Inspired Ink Editing, and I highly recommend her, by the way) and all the holes I came across myself. 

And now I’m finished, or close to it. And I feel excited. The excitement surprises me, but it’s kind of like I’ve fallen in love with the story again. I can’t wait to let my beta readers take one last look at it before it gets sent out into the world. It may not be perfect, but it’s my first book, and I’m proud of it.

In other news, I’ve started an art portfolio, which you can find here, and I’m working on the next few episodes of the Decoy, which I plan to post through the fall (I haven’t forgotten it, I promise!).

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