I’m really not sure what’s going on with my current novel.
I call it ‘novel number five’, but that’s not entirely accurate, because number four never got past 40k words, so it can’t really be called a novel, but hey….
Anyway, I first dreamed up (literally!) the idea for number five in April 2022. I wrote a ton of notes and got really excited about it. I drafted my husband, Dave, to help with the worldbuilding (he usually only comes in to give feedback on the first draft, but it turned out to be incredibly helpful to get his input right from the start), wrote a ton more notes – and then ground to a halt.
I didn’t work on it much in the second half of the year, but then did a big push on the outlining front at the start of 2023 and actually started the first draft towards the end of January.
Since then, I’ve been averaging roughly three scenes per week, and I’m set to complete the first draft by the end of June. So, that will be about 75k words in less than six months – which is pretty good for me!
My first drafts have always come in really, really short before this one (cf number four – which is entirely viable as a novella, so who cares?) so I’m really proud of the fact that this one is going to be (just about) actual novel-length on the first try. And the outline is certainly the most robust I’ve crafted before setting out on the actual writing.
I love the idea, I like the characters, I think the structure is good, and it’s certainly got a ton more worldbuilding at this early stage than any of my other long-form work (thanks, Dave!).
BUT – I’m still finding it a real slog to get through.
AND – I have some serious doubts about whether or not it really works on some quite fundamental levels.
I’m not going to explain what those doubts are at this point – because I’m fascinated to find out whether my editor, Amie, and my first beta reader, Dave, will identify them. I can’t wait to get their feedback to see if they spot the problems I see, if they agree in their opinions, and if they think it’s worth working to fix things and make this novel a viable entity.
But I’ve got to finish the thing first! Fifteen scenes (15-18k words) to go!