My Novel Diary: Chapter One

Hi, everyone! This is a series I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and now that I’ve come to the midpoint in my first draft, I believe this is a great place to update you all on my thesis novel. So, I’m going to be updating you all on my progress as I write, revise and edit this novel.

If you don’t already know, I’m writing a young adult high fantasy novel for my thesis for my Master’s program. I began writing this draft at the end of June 2018. On September 7th, 2018 I got to 40,000 words in my first draft. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to tell you all the premise of this novel, but until now I’m going to be a bit vague when it comes to the concept.

I had my outline done in June, but since then I’ve written three different outlines. Ha! I thought I knew exactly where this story was going– despite pantsing all of my other novel manuscripts. But, apparently, you can’t take the pantser out of me because I had an idea to change the setting of my novel. This might not seem like a big deal, but it changed just about everything about my novel. So I was floundering for a bit. After discussing my new idea with my mentor, critique partners, and boyfriend, I figured out a way to incorporate both of the settings. I’m super excited about this mesh of ideas. It’s truly the best of both worlds.

I wrote the next 8,000 words of this new idea in three days, which is a lot for me. I try to write 1,500 words a day when I’m drafting, but I ideas kept popping into my brain and I couldn’t stop typing. I’ve learned that if I’m ever struggling with writing a scene then it probably means that it’s not the right scene. So when these scenes came so easily to my mind and fingertips, I knew I was on the right track.


Hey, everyone! I am adding to this document two months later! I wanted to wait until I passed project approval and finished my first draft before publishing “Chapter 1” of my writing adventure.

So, as of November 6th, I passed project approval! Not only did I pass, but I passed without any structural changes to my manuscript. I can’t tell you how happy I was to receive that email! I barely slept the two days before and I had my email open at all times. I was truly afraid I would fail since I submitted mostly new work. October was a chaotic month because I wanted to revise those 40,000 words with the new setting before I turned it in to my mentor for approval. I ended up cutting around 20,000 words from my manuscript. I am really happy I took the time to do that because the structure is so much stronger.

Along with the first 50 pages of my manuscript for project approval, I submitted my synopsis and a self-reflection. On October 24th, the same day as my project approval pages were due, I also had to send 30 other pages to my critique partners for review. So, let’s just say, October was a stressful month.

I am updating you now on November 20th since I just finished my first draft of my thesis novel! There are a lot of chapters I need to go back in to write and subplots to tie up, but I have all the main plot points written at this point. The novel is currently at 50,000 words. You should probably know that I am a layer writer, so I usually write bare-bones drafts and fill them in with each draft.

For December, I plan to read as much as I can to refill my creative well and study craft novels. Please feel free to send craft novel suggestions! When I begin revisions, a semester early, in January I hope to be refreshed and able to tackle my novel with fresh ideas. I can’t wait to see how this novel continues to grow.

Thank you for following along!

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