I finished the rough draft of my novel yesterday afternoon. I'm still in shock that I can actually say, Oh yeah, I finished the first draft of my novel, no biggee.
On Monday, I'm going to start reading it. I am excited and nervous. I know it will need a lot of work - but what if the entire thing is a big steaming pile of crap? I don't think that is the case. I've been rereading parts of my novel throughout the process of creating the first draft, and I often catch myself thinking, Hey, Courtney, this is not half bad. But still: what if it's a big steaming pile of crap?
I'm going to try to read the entire thing before I start revising. I love revising, and I know I will just want to jump right into improving the novel; but I need to read the entire thing to get some perspective and see what needs work.
For example, as I was finishing the rough draft, I remembered the main character has a cat. Or, at least, she did. I wrote one funny page about that cat, and then I completely forgot about it and never mentioned it again. I need to delete the page about the cat (sorry, kitty) or else mention the cat elsewhere.
This is an adventure! I am the creator of this novel, and yet I know I will be constantly surprised by what I wrote. It feels like I'm experiencing Christmas, my Maui honeymoon, a trip to the ER and the California Bar Exam, all at the same time.