Oh, happy day! I finished the first draft of THE NOTORIOUS KNIGHT at 8:30 p.m. Friday night, writing 29 pages that day (and I had the slightly aching shoulders to prove it). I really wanted to finish because I had a social engagement that took up all day Sat.
And now begins the next step -- rereading, reworking, revising. Cutting. Deleting. Moving. Writing new material. Getting really into the story -- delving even deeper into the characters and what makes them tick. Making sure everything makes sense. Adding "color" with descriptions and weaving in more historical detail.
I find this part of the process really exciting and -- dare I say it? -- fun. The first draft can be a tough slog, because it seems like every sentence (or practically) is a decision. If I write this, then this, that or the other can happen. Which one should I choose?
Now those difficult decisions have been made. I have all my raw material assembled and hammered into its basic shape; now comes the fine tuning, the polishing and reshaping until the finished book is the best it can be.