March 9

Novel Update

I’m working on the second draft of my first novel and, well, I’m making progress. Slow progress, but progress. I’ve been working on the first chapter for about a week now, trying to get it just right. The first chapter is where the first impression is made and I want to make sure I pull the reader in. I wasn’t happy with how the chapter was originally written. It was the first draft of this massive undertaking and I didn’t know how to begin, so I started writing some background. After a few pages the story itself kicked in and I took off from there. Unfortunately, it wasn’t done in a way that would allow me to simply hack off that initial intro, so here I am basically starting over.

But it’s not a bad thing. I’m enjoying it. It’s funny because I get this feeling that I’m taking too long with it, that I should be ripping through this thing like a Tasmanian devil. Then I remind myself that I’m not in a race, that no one is judging me on speed. Hell, I don’t even have a deadline. Besides, this is my first real go at a real novel. I want to take my time and do it right. Or at least, as right as I can make it.

And I’m glad I’m not pushing myself. I feel that I’m finally crafting the opening my novel needs. There’s some action, some allusions, some back story, all leading the reader along my desired path. A friend took a look at the first two pages for me and her response was encouraging.

I’m on the right track now. I feel good about the story, about the characters, and that I’m handling the subject matter the right way. Yes, I want to have a message in my story. It’s sort of a morality play, I guess. But shouldn’t all stories have some underlying message to them? Like, be true to yourself, don’t give up, don’t be a dick…even if we aren’t consciously trying to make a point when we tell a tale, all stories eventually have one.

It feels good to be making progress on this beast. I think I have a good story to tell, that it’s coming together (although I’ve barely scratched the surface), and I think people will like it. It’s a weird feeling, that confidence in my work, especially now that I’m swimming in uncharted waters. But I know what I’m doing, where I’m going, and how to get there. I should have this first chapter reworked in the next few days, then it’s on to chapter two. Then three. Then four.

And so on.


Copyright 2021 Richard Bist. All rights reserved.

Posted 2019-03-09 by RB in category "Writing


  1. By Jennifer Floody on

    Very excited to read this novel someday soon. Congratulations on getting to the second draft, you have overcome a large hurdle Richard. 🙂

    1. By RB (Post author) on

      Thanks, Jennifer! I appreciate the encouragement.


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