Guess what you guys, I did it! Yesterday I finished my first ever first draft of a full length novel, (66,000 words counts as full length for YA, right?). The only thing I've managed before this was something that was supposed to be a novel but is complete at 36,000 words so I'm very happy.
I know the more experienced among you are probably grinning to yourselves and thinking, 'yeah, that was the easy part kid'. (I'm not sure why I imagine any of you would call me 'kid' but let's go with it). I expect that revising this novel will be tough, not just because of all the things I'll discover when I read it through, but because of the things I already know need fixing, due to me changing my mind as I was writing it and not going back to edit it. I have nine pages of notes that say things like 'Sam's broken leg in ch 11 is now a sprained ankle' and 'Glenda isn't needed, take her out and turn her son into one of Lola's mates'. My MC's Mother died and came back to life on four separate occasions (and no, this isn't supernatural!).
My favourite change will be the title. I gave this book a working title of 'Joe and the Angels'. Yes, I know it's rubbish but I had to call the files something. The only thing is there are no longer any Angels in it and he isn't called Joe. Other than that, the title rocks :)
I had to change my MC's name because I imagined Joe as a particular boy who had some very specific experiences and talents. He's changed beyond all recognition but I know that one day I'll want to go back and try again to write the story of my 'ordinary Joe'. I can't imagine him being called anything else, so this Joe is now Jamie.
Do I think this story is good? Yes I do. Do I think it will be the one that makes me a published author? Probably not, but that won't stop me doing my very best with it, and making it the best YA thriller that I can.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, writing a first draft (especially for the first time) isn't that big a deal, but to me personally it is. It's a sign that I believe in myself, that I think I'm worth taking seriously enough to actually make the time to sit and do this every day. Whether I still think that after a few weeks of revisions is another story, but for now it's a good feeling.
I'm going to take a few days off and read a book called Radix by A.A. Attanasio. It's something that Techno has been urging me to read since I first met him, and promises to be a very strange experience! After that, I'll start writing something else and in a few weeks time I'll start revisions on my first ever novel. I love saying that :)
P.S I forgot to add that I had to write quite an emotional part in the last chapter, and I made myself cry! How weird is that?