Welcome! This is the second of a five-part series about how my debut novel, The Other Side, came to be. From Conception to Publication. Today’s post is the continuation, the journey, the Progress.
Welcome to Part 2. If you haven’t read Part 1, you can find it here.
And so, I originally created The Other Side to be my first debut novel, to be the very first novel I published. That’s why I made The Other Side. I sat down and said I need a singleton novel and TOS was what came out. Now how did that progress, that process go down?
This is the middle between Conception and Publication.
So what I have below are actually snippets of time during journals I wrote while I was writing The Other Side. I’m an extensive journaller (is that a word? Well it is now!) so I’m always writing journals, every day. So the dates are when I wrote the journal, and the small paragraph below the dates are a section from the journal written that day, so you can read some of the progress I went through with The Other Side.
Note the journal entries are lightly edited for mistakes and such. But the words are my words back then.
My novel is already at 50k words and its not even nearly close to being finished. That really freaked me out because my novel is only 66 pages along, I figured it would end up being about 300 pages, I thought that was normal but they count by words, not pages. Apparently each page has 250 words. Anyway, that’s just one example of what I’ve learned.
The novel The Other Side is not only not finished, I actually scrapped it at 95k words and over 100 pages. Yup, that’s the length of a completed novel but the first villain in the story hadn’t even shown up yet, in fact, not even all the main characters had arrived on the scene. Two years, 95k words and no novel. So, I scrapped it and decided to start over with a totally new twist on the characters and backgrounds and everything, I had the same basic plotline but the delivery and the tone was going to be all different.
I keep writing it then starting over, write more then start over.
That’s just another way of not finishing. To continuously scrap what I’m working on then start again, scrap and start again. That just means it never gets finished.
The Other Side is an example of this. I started to write it once I was ready and I wrote 112 pages, 95k words. That’s a full-length novel right there, even though it was only like a quarter way finished. Yes, all of that and technically it had barely started! And what did I do?
Scrapped it, decided the characters were stereotypical. So I started over. Then I changed everything about it, I changed so much that I killed the story. Then just like that, The Other Side was dead.
I have 30 pages worth of scenes, I had written over 90k words on it.
This novel was the closest one ever came to completion, the one that I worked the most on real novel writing and not just scenes or outlines.
So I just wanted to talk about The Other Side. My third draft the page number was 293. Nearly three hundred pages and Carter had only made one appearance. Nearly three hundred pages and suddenly Jackson is a former gang member, Xon died and was resurrected TWICE by the Moon goddess. Yeah the story went crazy, it seriously strayed off the beaten path and I just let it.
So now I’m reining it back to page 73, which I believe is the place that story was still on track. From that moment, I’ll steer it continually following the plan I had originally had.
As of January 1st, 2016, I finished my first novel. The Other Side, my debut, I completed it the first of the new year.
So a year ago and four days, I finished The Other Side. Now here I am today and it’s not published, and in fact, it’s not finished. My beta-reader had me rewrite the ending, and I just never did. I took baby steps then stopped working on it all together. Then I reread the entire thing, making small edits. Now I’m back to where I am at the end, needing to finish the last two chapters. It’s been a year. How long has it been since I started The Other Side? The story takes place in 2014. I think I first had the idea in like 2010. So…it’s 7 years for this to finish.
So it is Christmas Eve, 2017 I told myself today was the day, that was I finishing my novel today. Not only that, I told myself I’d finish it before church at 4pm. So I fed the cat, and I sat down to write.
And I wrote.
I wrote until I got a little burnt out, so I took a break by watching some videos on YouTube. I went back to work, I struggled to get started, and end up watching more videos instead. It’s getting later. So I tell myself, we’re finishing this before 9:15.
I finished it at 9:05.
So…Today is April 1st, 2018. And yesterday, March 31st, at 10:30pm on the dot, I finished my novel. I finished the body of it. The text, the story. It’s done. No more editing, revising or rewriting. Its over.
So! In Conception we talked about that I made The Other Side specifically to be my first novel and that was in 2010. And now in Progress, by looking at different journals during the past 8 years between 2010 and 2018 when The Other Side was published, we read how many ups and downs it took before it was finally complete, and ready to start the publication process.
Part 3 will go over how I decided on which publication avenue to take, traditional or self-publishing, also called indie publishing.
And as always, while I write my cat Aomine keeps me company by my side.