Almost done with my second draft (the hand edit part), and I’m terrified to finish it.

I imagined the 208,000 words and over 700 pages–printed and bound at Staples–taking me close to six months to edit by hand. By hand, I mean I edit each page with pen. I’ve been told (by you, Brian) that it allows you to be a little more personal with your story and see things you may not see on a screen. For the most part, I’ve loved it. Reading my story upon completion feels rewarding, and I always find myself getting excited when a new chapter starts, “ohhh, this is the chapter where X and X do X!!!” I honestly expected to come out of this draft being really down on my writing, but for the most part I am thrilled. 

Sounds great, right? It is, but now I have three chapters left, and I find myself not wanting to finish it. Now, I never had this type of trouble with the first draft. I just slowed down to make sure the ending didn’t suck. 

Just because I finish the hand edit doesn’t mean I’m done, not by a long shot. Upon completion, I’ll apply my edits to the computer and complete the second draft. I won’t even be done after that. In the third draft, I’ll need to cut about 20,000 words, make sure my maps are all correct, add a compete historical holy war in my lore, and find a way to balance my narrative and dialogue as much as possible. There will probably be another handful of drafts after that, too.

Why am I stalling? I still feel the novel won’t be even close to publication-ready for another year, so why does it all feel so sudden–so final? Any other writers get hung up finishing a draft for no reason at all? I’d love to hear your stories.

At least I have a name for the first book of the trilogy. That’s a plus.



4 thoughts on “Almost done with my second draft (the hand edit part), and I’m terrified to finish it.

  1. I suffered massive delays on the first draft of my current work in progress because 1. I was certain I couldn’t write the action in the middle, and 2. I struggled with a long bout of depression, based on the certainty that no one would want to read it, anyway. I’m still certain, but I’ve decided, what the hell.

    Best of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Doubts and delays can happen at any point. I would suggest taking a break, maybe examining whether something else is putting demands on your attention, or if there is something nagging you about the next steps in the process. In any event, I don’t think you’re encountering anything unusual or dire. Hang in there.


  2. Hi
    Thanks for following the 1951 Club blog. I really appreciate it.
    I very much admire the effort you put into your writing. 208,000 words is some going! It will all happen believe you me. Are you e.publishing or are you trying for conventional hard copy ?
    If you are in need of a little inspiration then follow my other blog …

    All the very best


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