I finished the second draft of my second novel this week, which feels significant, if only in my head.
The novel is still way too short (currently at 55,000 words, so needs at least 25,000 more added to it), but I know what I’m going to do to sort that out.
I think it’s good. I know it can be better, and I’m keen to improve it as much as I can, but I think it’s good.
And it feels like a confirmation that I can really do this, that the first one wasn’t just a ten-year one-off fluke. I’m not quite there yet but, before too long, I will have written two whole novels!
I’ve got seven or eight great people (and quite a range) who are going to read what I have and give me feedback in a few weeks, which will hopefully give me more motivation and ideas for the expansion.
So, hopefully I’ll then be able to do a big push to get it in shape and send it to my publisher for them to consider.
I have a publisher! I have a second novel!
And I’m actually really excited to get started on number three. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do some groundwork on that later this year and be in a position to take advantage of the structure and support of the Six Month Novel Programme in 2021.
It suddenly feels like I can make a real go of this novelist thing – how crazy is that?
Anyway, there’s still a long way to go before the first one actually comes out, and an even longer way to go before the second one might get published. And maybe my current beta readers will come up with some terrible problems with the novel that I won’t know how to fix.
But, right now, it feels like I have a story I love, and that I’m actually impressed by, and that I don’t think will materially change in plot or structure between now and when it’s finally finished.
And that seems significant to me. Regardless of how sensible it is, I’m going to revel in my achievement, feel very pleased with myself, and take a break from thinking about the second novel for a while, until my readers come back to me with their feedback and I have to dive back in.