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How to Write a Novel in Six Months, Week 21 Drafting Update: I Did It!

Updated on December 16, 2008

I did it! I actually completed the first draft of my novel! I’m now the proud owner of 314 pages of fiction. (I haven’t actually printed it yet, but it’s here on my computer!) It’s a strange thing completing a first draft. I thought I would feel all excited, but the exclamation points aren’t coming. Maybe it’s because I know it needs so much work, or maybe it’s because I didn’t have the mental energy to do justice to the last few scenes, or maybe I just have some personal issues with not being able to celebrate my successes! (Ooh- there’s one!)

Regardless I’m happy it’s completed and looking forward to the revisions!


Capitalizing on Strengths

As I think about my novel I know there are some big areas that need work. It can get overwhelming in a hurry. However, I was in a class last week that had nothing to do with writing when I learned something very important to apply to my novel. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and to operate at our full potential, we’ve got to leverage the strengths. We must ‘accentuate the positive’. But what about those weaknesses? Don’t we have to overcome them? Sort of. Or we could just make do.

There’s a lot of wisdom to the view that we don’t need to completely turn our weaknesses around, we just need to improve them to the point they no longer hold us back. The idea is that our energy is better spent making even more of our strengths than in trying to master something that’s just not in the cards for us.

So that’s my new attitude about revision. I need to spend some time fixing the areas that would be deal breakers to publishers or agents, and then move on to polishing.

You Can Do It Too!!!

Okay, here’s where the exclamation points come in! I know, know, know that if I can do this, so can you. It’s simply a matter of mind over matter! If writing a novel is something you want to do, I’m here to prove it’s not impossible. If you need moral support, read through the series and feel free to ask for advice. I’ll help you any way I can.!

How to Write a Novel in Six Months, One Writer’s Journey

Week 1, Mapping Out the Six Month Plan

Week 2, Resources on Structure

Week 3, Index Cards Are My Friends

Week 4, Sketching Characters

Week 5, Researching Agents

Week 6, Outlining

Week 7, Detail Scene Beats

Week 8, Writing the Synopsis

Week 9, Drafting Update

Week 10 Drafting Update

Week 11 Drafting Update

Week 12 Drafting Update

Week 13 Drafting Update: Writer’s Block Week 14 Drafting Update: Appreciating Plot and an Awful First Draft

Week 15 Drafting Update: Formulas and White Space

Week 16 Drafting Update: Looking for an Agent


Week 17 Drafting Update: Confessing I Didn’t Write This Week

Week 18 Drafting Update: Plugging Along

Week 19 Drafting Update: Surviving Interruption

Week 20 Drafting Update: Racing Toward the Finish Line


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  • dineane profile image

    dineane 9 years ago from North Carolina

    Good job, Lela! Congratulations! Now, if I could just muster the discipline to follow your example...

  • christine almaraz profile image

    christine almaraz 9 years ago from colorado springs

    I've written a screenplay and have been told by publishers that it might work better as a novel. I started it but I was having a peoblem with motivation. Your advice helps. Thanks. Great hub.

  • Serenity Live profile image

    Serenity Live 9 years ago from Midwest

    A Woo Hoo! I'm impressed too. Having written a full book really is such an accomplishment, and you should be proud. You've given me hope. The book I've written is a memoir - the story was already there really. So I have yet to prove to myself that I can write full length fiction.

  • wannabwestern profile image

    Carolyn Augustine 9 years ago from The Land of Tractors

    Congratulations, Lela, what a wonderful accomplishment! I am so impressed!