I’m pleased to have finished the first draft of the novel version of Disappearing Dinners. It’s currently 17,000 words and aimed at 8 – 12 year olds. It’s always exciting to finish a story, even if you already know how it is going to end. As usual there were a few twists and turns I hadn’t anticipated. I love it when I’m surprised by what I’m writing!
I usually send the first draft to a friend. She’s the world’s best first-draft reader. She always tells me how much she enjoyed it and never points out what is wrong with it. Obviously, I appreciate critical feedback but at the moment I finish a story all I want is a pat on the back.
I have other friends (and family) who will tell me what’s wrong with it. I won’t let any of them read the story yet. First I’ll try and leave the novel to sit for a week. This will be hard because I’d love polish it off and send it to agents and publishers. But I remember my last novel took many months to go from first draft to final version. At the moment Disappearing Dinners feels finished – that’s why I need to leave it for at least a week – to give time for everything to settle and for all the defects to float up to the top.
Writing tip: after you finish a story leave it for a week before editing.