As I think I mentioned, I gave the most recent draft (version 7 draft 9, to be specific) of my first novel to my husband. His task: to review it during November so that once December hit, I could look through his feedback and see how successful my last round of editing had been.
For the past couple of years, I have known that it has been on the right track… finally. I was actually proud of the story it had matured into, and I was most focused with doing all the perfecting to it that I possibly could. Nothing would embarrass me more than to learn that there was a gaping plot hole I had somehow missed.
To my surprise, he returned it with only three comments: two that the glaring rough spots I had been working with were finally polished and the other noted a relatively minor tweak that I fixed within twenty minutes.
So, I suppose that means that, after about fifteen years and God-only-knows how many drafts and complete revisions, I’m done.
Or, at least, this story contains the best of what my current skills can produce. And I don’t think that I will be too embarrassed about it fifteen years from now (I hope). Which means it’s time to harass some friends and family members who are avid readers and seek their opinions.
When I was thinking about the possibility that I really might be done this time, I started thinking about how the story has changed throughout my life. And I figured you might find it amusing to see where my juvenile mind started, where I was in high school (when I thought that I was done the first time… I even tried to find a publisher!), and where it has all ended up.
- In the 1990’s: Space
The story was born after watching Star Wars for the very first time, so it’s theme: space and a rebellion, of course!
- In the 2000’s: A medieval land
Everything changed after I read The Lord of the Rings and saw the depths of the world that Tolkien created.
- Now: Still a medieval land
A better developed one than when I was finishing high school, void of the fairy tale creatures that no longer seem to fit. : )
- In the 1990’s: The prince
- In the 2000’s: The prince (with a new name)
- Now: Still the prince (but with worse attitude problems)
- In the 1990’s: Ever heard of Darth Vader? Because he used to be the antagonist’s twin. (Not literally.)
- In the 2000’s: Your stereotypical evil king, including the black cape and evil laugh.
- Now: You might get a bad feeling about him, but he’s actually rather kind and truly thinks he is doing the right thing.
Biggest Changes Since the Beginning
- It slowly morphed from third person to a first person narrator/false protagonist.
- It’s not in space.
- The whole plot is completely different. If you read the original version, you would never guess that the current one is based on it.
Things Thing That Stayed the Same
The character has changed from being the prince’s younger sister to just a daughter of a lord, but that name has been in every draft since the beginning. For a while, I kept it because I honestly thought that I had made it up and really liked it. Now, I keep it just because it’s been in the story for so long and it’s an inside joke for anyone who knows that I thought I had created the name.
What is the longest that you have been working on one story? What sort of changes has it gone through between when you started it and now?