Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finished! ...or just beginning?

Yay! I did it! The story is on paper, the rough draft is done... whew!

Final count: 62k words, 220 pages, 20 chapters, 1 very sore butt (I need a better chair).

I've got one day to spare, then I'm going to be globe-trotting for three weeks. That should help me get some distance (literally and figuratively) from the novel, so that when I finally get back and ready to work, I'll be able to give at least a cursory edit.

And this work is really going to need an edit. I have no illusions about that. This is just a first draft. And besides:

"Every first draft is perfect, because all a first draft has to do is exist."
- Jane Smiley

So it will take a rewrite (or eight). I've already got notes in there as I was writing (check this fact! describe scenery more! add this detail somewhere before chapter 8!). This book was very difficult for me to write, and I know there are whole parts that are choppy and rough because it just wasn't flowing.

After having written a few yet-to-be-published books, I know that just because words are on the page does not make them worthy. I've got to edit for grammar, and then edit for content, then develop character, voice and plot more...and then do it all over again. And then give it to a critique group or two and add more changes (which are usually done to the sound of me hitting my head against my desk, saying "Why didn't I think of that?!").

...but at least the first draft is done.



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