Yesterday, I finished the 2nd draft of my novel. What a great feeling! The major structural changes are completed, and my book is close to being done. I must confess, I'm anxious to start the querying process, but in the back of my mind I know the worst thing I could do is rush this part. I don't want to send anything out there that is less than my best work. I've said it before, but patience is a virtue....that I don't have.
I started my novel back in February, and I have a good 6 weeks to go before it's spit-shined. That puts me at 9 months or so from start to finish. I write about 2-3 hours per day, 5 days a week. At least I'm finishing this one. I have several partials that I couldn't bear to finish, and 1 completed manuscript that stank so bad I had to bury it.
Here's how I wrote my current WIP, Table for One:
*The first draft was getting the story out of my head and onto paper. There are scenes where I wandered around figuring out what was happening next. I had to move somewhat quickly during this phase to keep momentum, and prove to myself that there was a good story here. I didn't bog myself down in the small stuff.
*The second draft was for eliminating the garbage and moving things around. For example, my black moment came entirely too soon in the first draft, which made for a loooong ending. I also checked facts I wasn't sure about. During this 2nd draft process I worked each chapter a few times to get it right. At least I hope it's right!
*The next draft will be for fluff and puff to make it "pretty." I need to deepen characterization, and add detail. There are a few scenes that need to be deleted, like all the scenes where my heroine is driving, except for one that is important to the story. I know driving scenes are a no-no, but somehow everyone talked a lot in the car. I also need to check punctuation, since I tend to be comma-happy. And I love.... and ---'s.
I'd like to hear about your writing process. How many full drafts do you write (though that's a subjective question based on what you consider a draft) and do you layer details in after your rough draft, or write a long first draft and snip a lot out afterward. I'm always so interested to see how other writers work.
Because I feel like I'm taking FORever to finish my book, I'd like to see how long it takes the rest of you. So please vote. I don't have any "I VOTED" stickers to hand out, but still! It's my first official poll, and I didn't pay to have the ads removed, so if there's anything naughy let me know!