Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge

Summer Writing Challenge Check-in: Week 12, Time to revise!

black walnut tree
Have you looked outside lately? Mother Nature keeps reminding me that summer is almost over. These black walnuts will be on the ground soon.

September 21st is the last day of summer, as well as the official last day of our Write Your Novel this Summer Challenge. I don’t know about you, but I feel good knowing I have written an entire story from start to finish. Now, on to revisions!

After letting my first draft simmer for a couple of weeks, I finally sat down this week and started working on my second draft. Many famous authors (Stephen King comes to mind) say your second draft should always be shorter than your first. They advise cutting out unnecessary words, which is great advice. But I don’t think that is going to work for me.

You see, I have a complete story on the page, from start to finish, but it is very short on word count. There are a lot of holes to fill, and description to add. It seems I have a minimalist writing style that involves telling a story mainly through dialog. Can I cut unnecessary words from my dialog? Obviously. However, I am not going to get to a strong second draft simply by cutting. I need to start filling holes.

While looking for plot holes, I decided I needed to add a chapter. I keep watching my word count sway back and forth as I cut excess from one chapter and then add another chapter in between what is already there. I am only two chapters into my revisions. This could get interesting.

I have added 2,396 words since my last check-in, leaving my current total at 25,331. That is still pretty short. Honestly, it’s more a novella at the moment than a novel. I wonder how many more words I need to add to make it a complete novel. I still have a lot of work to do.

How about you? How close are you to completing the first draft of your novel? Please share in the comments below.

~Amanda L. Webster

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