I did it. I finished a novel for the first time in my life.
It took two months, six days and eleven hours, but the first rough draft of my novel is done. I say first rough draft because although I've written "the end" there are plenty of missing parts in the story itself. The biggest one being Olivia's memory of her Icarus like fall.
And the novel, if one read it now, could easily cause your eyes to bleed. Not all of it is that bad--in fact I really like some of the scenes. But there are a lot of sections that suffer from lack of description, crappy dialogue and scenes so cut/mashed together that they are the literary versions of Frankenstein's monster.
My final stats
Word count: 146,270
Pages: 448(at 11pt Tahoma, double spaced)
Characters dead: 0 [crazy, huh?]
So what's next?
1. A Break
I promised myself a long time ago that I would take a month off before reading my novel again. So I'm going to back up the files, print it out and then put it away until February 6th.
The deal is that I need to read at least three books before I can edit my story. I haven't read anything while I was writing--mostly to keep my inner editor in check--and now I don't remember what a good novel looks like. I plan to read from three categories:
a. Comedic novels/Novels with good narration (especially if it's of the omniscient, third person, all knowing type with a personality ala The Hitchhiker's Guide or A Series of Unfortunate Events).
b. Period/Victorian/Steampunk novels (as I really need a strong idea of the genre I'm trying to invoke and I haven't read any Steampunk novels yet).
c. Novel-writing/Reference/Historical novels (for research reasons as it will only make my world and characters more believeable and interesting).
3. Brainstorming/What ifs
Even before I finished my novel, I started thinking about alternate plot lines and options--even new characters. I figure that it will make it easier when I rework the plot for the second draft.
4. World/Character building
This is everything from character profiles and memories, world histories and maps to sketches and photographic references. My first draft is severely lacking in visual descriptions and I really want to fix that. Likewise, the more I delved into character histories the more real and three dimensional they became.
This won't happen until March, although I might start a little in February after I've done the first read though.
I have a lot of work ahead of me.