So, yesterday, I finally finished the first draft of my second novel, A Sister to Butterflies. And, if I do say so myself, I think it's in pretty good shape as far as first drafts go.
When I set out to write it, I decided on an approach similar to how Dickens published many of his works — as newspaper serials, printed one chapter at a time; my goal being to make each chapter as tight as possible before going onto the next, with each chapter moving the story along in an equally significant manner. I've yet to read through the entire book, so the thing may very well turn out to be chock-full of massive plot holes and one wreck of a sentence after another. But I gotta tell you, I'm enjoying the solidity of the sense of completion I have in this, the immediate afterglow.
What was strange, though, was to go to bed last night and for the first time in years not have to think about how in the world whatever needed to happen next in the story was actually going to happen next. That part's done. The story's been told; it has a beginning, a middle and an end.
Now comes the hard part: Taking a story I wanted to tell and sprucing into a story you'll want to read.