Two hundred pages done! I’m now at the point where I know what is going to happen in the rest of my new novel, Winter Tears. I have the remaining seven or eight scenes mapped out and all I need to do is get the words written. Phew! I think I can finish this first draft by the end of next week.

Usually, my first drafts are about forty to fifty pages shorter than the final version because I’m getting the basic plot and subplots down on the first writing. During the rewrite, knowing now that the story works, I go back in and add more details and possibly another subplot or two.

For me, those two phases of the novel writing process are pretty different from each other. The first draft phase is usually kind of exploratory. I have ideas in mind, but make changes as the story unfolds. It’s exciting, but also scary because I’m always questioning whether my ideas will come together and really work the way I hope. The rewriting phase is easier because it’s mainly a matter of turning the manuscript into a publishable book that readers will want to read.

After the rewrite comes the final phase, which is the editing–or some people call it the polishing. That’s fun because it’s when the book begins to really look like a finished book. The not-so-fun part is that the writer and editor are getting to a point where they’ve read it so many times that they would really like to take a break from it.

Well, the final phase of writing isn’t really the final phase of getting a book ready, but it’s close. A book needs a cover, a book blurb, etc. That’s for another blog post.