Saturday, February 7, 2009

Status -- February 7, 2009

Lame week, day job is in long hours-high stress mode and the writing has suffered. The good news is that I am preparing for the revisions, a process that involves some reading, building checklists, thinking about other projects and not looking at the novel itself. In a week or so, I’ll dive back in with a readthrough of the rough draft, reading fast as if I were a reader, followed by a slower readthrough where I mark-up things that need fixed. So, less than 10 hours this week and none of it directly on the book. Sigh.

The End

I reached the end of the rough draft...literally wrote the words “The End” on January 30th, and finished the draft January 31st. Most of it is rough, though some has been revised for submission to the Writer’s Bloc critique group (1st draft) and some has been rewritten after getting feedback (2nd draft).

It’s a good feeling. The book is still several months from being complete, but I am possessed by a powerful feeling of success and a desire to celebrate. The opening is powerful. The ending is powerful. The big finale (a showdown just before the end) is a mess. I skipped over three or four chapters (some due to time, some due to writers block). Those need fixed, but on the whole I think the story works. The revision should be straightforward.

Now I am faced by a dilemma. Most teachers, mentors and books on writing suggest taking about a month off between drafts. This being the first book I’ve written that feels sellable, I want to get to the end ASAP and start shopping it around. So while a month off might be good (relax the brain, work some other projects), the thought of that much time off makes me nervous, and seeing how it pushes the finish line out past June, the idea freaks me out. Hell, not finishing till May freaks me out. I will take a week off. Maybe two. Then see what happens.

So, I am off to read some books, make some checklists and forget as much of the story as I can so that I can look upon with fresh eyes when I do my next readthrough.