I was tempted just to write one sentence for this week’s ROW80 check in: I finished the first draft of my first novel this week!

But I was assuming that the ROW80 crew might want a little more than this sentence for an update. So I did some happy dancing at #row80 with #teamsprinty to celebrate AND I took the week of writing sort of. I wrote a blog post on a book review and did some reading.

I also had a special guest, Piper Bayard, this week who wrote a great guest post on “Everything I need to know about writing Sci Fi, I learned from Star Trek” as part of my Genre Blog Series.

On the agenda for this week is to pick up a writing craft book again and to examine my three ideas for book 2. Hopefully I can choose one of the ideas in the next week to start plotting!

What did you do to celebrate finishing your first novel?

37 Thoughts to “I finished the first draft of my first novel – ROW80 check in”

  1. I refused to look at the file for months because I knew I would start rewriting it, but I did feel a great sense of satisfaction at finishing a complete novel. I have rewritten sections of it, eight times, and now I’m trying to get it published. If you look at my blog the main character tells a short story about an incident in her life at the start of her career at the English Bar. Good luck with your novel what ever you want to do with it – it’s not easy to write a 90,000 word book – so you deserve your celebration.

    1. I’m kind of looking forward to editing and rewriting it. My novel is over 100,000 words so it will be a big task ahead.

  2. Rose

    Well done!! 😀 I am so happy for you, Nicole! [about the celebrating my first novel… I’ll let you know! :)]

    1. Thanks Rose. Looking forward to seeing you finish too. 🙂

  3. Congratulations! That’s an awesome milestone and achievement! 😀 I think I printed my first draft up, bound it, and passed it out to friends to read…after doing a long-awaited victory dance, of course. Keep up the good work! 🙂

    1. Perhaps I will do the same after some major editing.

  4. When I finished my first draft, I had a moment of disbelief. It went something like this: Wait – I’m done? No. I wrote a full draft of a full novel? No. Yeah. Yeah I did. No way! Then I got really excited!


    1. lol. Michelle your reaction was very authentic. I think I had the same type of thing going on. Congratulations to you too.

  5. First of all, congratulations!! When I finished my first novel, I tried to start my second, but I needed a few weeks off before I truly got back into the writing groove.

    1. I will be doing the same thing: plotting the second novel soon.

  6. Congrats for finishing! What genre is your new idea(s) in?

    1. Thanks Nadja. Women’s fiction.

  7. Whoo-hoo! *Throws confetti all around* That’s a big accomplishment. Take some time to enjoy it, because you deserve it!

    1. Thanks Stacy. I like confetti.

  8. Congratulations! Don’t let it depress you it takes three to make it–you’ll break the odds. Unlike others of us…

    1. Luckily I have a few book ideas percolating. 🙂

  9. :throws confetti: Thats a huge accomplishment…congrats! And you are so doing it the right way by working on something else before starting revisions. Have fun plotting 🙂

    1. Thanks Raelyn. I also think starting something new is the best way. Gives you some distance from the original work.

  10. Congratulations again on completing that draft! I would do the happy dance too. It feel amazing to be done.

    1. Happy dance is the only way to go. Thanks Marcia.

  11. Nicole, I am STILL doing crazy happy dances for you. Seriously, such an accomplishment. I send you buckets of glitter and love (and some champagne!) in celebration. 😀

    1. Thanks Lena. You know how to celebrate!

  12. Em

    So so exciting! I like the idea of a ‘break’ after finishing! I will have to think of a celebration ritual but maybe I will do that when I get closer to ‘The End’!

    Congratulations again and have a great week!

    1. Yes it was a long time coming. Its good to have a bit of a break to start the new ideas flowing. Looking forward to your “The End” moment. 🙂

  13. Congratulations on a huge milestone!! To answer your question: When I finished my first draft of my first novel, I let out a huge sigh and stared at it in disbelief. Then I sent it out to some alpha readers and didn’t think about it for a while. 🙂

    1. that’s the way to do it. 🙂

  14. “I finished the first draft of my first novel this week!” SQUEE!!!!!!!!!! Okay, I’ve been a little “blah” this week, but have kicked it up a notch to do an ultimate cheer for you. I’ll ice my joints later. 🙂

    That is awesome news, Nicole, and big congrats on being done with the draft. Huge accomplishment. Let it rest/breathe. Keep celebrating. Write on something else. Then venture back and have a chat with it…while sharing some of the champagne of course.

    1. Really appreciate the top notch cheer! Love you how you say “venture back and have a chat with it” makes the work seem so much less massive. 🙂

  15. Fabulous report, Nicole! Congratulations. It feels SO GOOD, doesn’t it? I didn’t really celebrate my first novel draft in a big way because I could count on my fingers how many people knew I was doing it. I was a closet writer back then, wondering whether I should tell people because they might actually expect my book to be, you know, good, readable, publishable. (I’ve obviously gotten over my self-consciousness.)

    It is a big stinkin’ deal to write a novel, and I am doing cartwheels for you now. (Did you like them?) Bask in your own sunshine for a while, girl. You deserve it!

    1. So true about people expecting it to be “good, readable, publishable”. Mine’s definitely not there yet, but hopefully will be at least readable in time. I guess it is a big deal to write a novel because not everyone finishes. 🙂

      I liked the cartwheels very much!

      1. No one’s stuff is publishable after draft #1. But it can still be good and will be readable in time. Throwing in a back flip here just for fun.

  16. Nicole, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!
    Yay!! I’m so thrilled for you ;). I celebrate everything with chocolate…so I hope you have a little to mark this wonderful occasion!

    1. Thanks so much Marilyn! I did indeed have lots of Easter chocolate. 🙂

  17. Congrats! Great feeling – I finished my first novel’s first draft a few months back and did the same thing! (took a short break) Savor the feeling!! 🙂

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