I wrote and completed the first draft of my debut novel in November 2016 during NaNoWriMo. I started without an outline, without a plot. Nothing but one page of a scene I wrote in 2003 and never finished. I only knew two things that first day of NaNo: 1) I will set it in Boracay 2) It will be a multicultural romance. Yes, I was a Pantser. One month, two titles, three name changes, and 54,000+ words later, I had a complete book. Not finished, only completed. It had a Beginning, a Middle, and an End.
Naturally, first drafts are the worst. It went through four more revisions with Beta readers chiming in and editors turning it down. The verdict is clear: they want more conflict. Fine, I said. This July, I joined CampNaNo and with the support of my Old School Romance Book Club cabin mates, I wrote, rewrote, retitled, and edited my first book. As a result, I now have a 58,000-word sixth draft with a little more drama, a lot more love.
On to more beta reading, more editing, more polishing, and hopefully soon, on to Publishing.
Note: Photo credit to Chippy Ledesma. Location: Boracay Island, Philippines.