• Talia Basma

Draft One Done

You know how you make a list of things you plan to do for the day and only get through half if you're lucky? But then one day, you're like this super-efficient person and everything has fallen into place, if only for a little bit. On Sunday, July 26th (last week), I finished the FIRST draft of my contemporary romance novel that I started working on about 4/5 months back. Can we scream in excitement about this?

The last time I finished writing a novel was in high school for a One Direction fan fiction. After that, I started trying my hand at werewolves and fantasy (total fail), and then I went to college and got busy writing for every possible reason except a novel. In 2015 I had a novel idea that came to me like an epiphany. It was set to be a dystopian fiction about America & Islamaphobia in the 2100's. I wrote on and off, finally grinding after I graduated in 2019. Then COVID-19 hit and writing about the end of the world was too exhausting. But if you are into that type of stuff, check out Internment by Samira Ahmed. Her book would be more of a "prequel" for what I have in mind, but basically the message and themes are parallel; cheers to Samira Ahmed for actually finishing her book.

I turned to Romance. I've been reading romance since I was maybe eleven or so. I love it. Happy endings are my kryptonite and I will die on the stance that romance is a fantastic genre deserving the utmost respect. In these days where I'm stuck at home and life really does feel like a bad episode of Twilight Zone, romance has been my anchor to love and hope. I could talk about romance for eons, but the bottom line is I decided to switch stories and direct my writing to the marriage of convenience idea that I'd had literally two weeks before COVID-19 had us on lock down.

If you love writing and are a writer, keep going! It's a very vague and unhelpful message but I think it's an important one. Tomi Adeyemi created a program called The Writer's Roadmap. At first, it was just an Instagram that had a 7-day challenge to help brainstorm and prep before the actual writing. Then, when it ended, she launched the official class that I'd say is a 10/10 experience and would recommend to anyone who genuinely wants to follow traditional publishing.

My original idea (the dystopian) has been in progress for five years and it was just going in circles, never reaching an end or taking proper shape. This romance though? She has taken shape and she's gorgeous in less than 6 months time, even without my edits. I know authors are supposed to hate their work but I'm super happy with it. Obviously there are spots that make zero sense and more typos than should be allowed, but I'm going to celebrate this moment and share it with you because I'm so proud of myself. As I should be. Anyone who finishes a draft of any capacity is amazing and I send them my love because this ain't easy.

Ta-ta, time for me to start editing after my week of celebration! (I've been peaking at it but also recharging ;) Have any of ya'll been delightedly surprised when you accomplished a goal that felt so far away.

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