Ahead of schedule, I finished the first draft of my novel last night. It stands at 287 pages, 75K words. I’m excited to have reached the end, but there’s a sense of sadness that comes with the completion of this writing phase. No more jotting down fresh ideas for the story on the train, in between meetings at work, or via e-mails to myself. Permission to write whatever I want has been officially withdrawn. It’s on to the editing phase where hours (days sometimes) worth of work will be mercilessly annihilated with the stroke of a delete button; weakly-executed through-lines will test my faith; and there’ll be no quick fixes for areas of contrived plotting, character inconsistencies and cringe-worthy passages.
Yes, I’m being a bit of a drama queen about this. But I’ve been through editing a novel manuscript before (THE REGISTRATION) and it was pretty horrific. So maybe it’s like rounds of chemotherapy, getting easier each time. Maybe it’s all in the right attitude. I will be approaching my edits differently, taking the advice of writing guru Jack Bickham. I’m setting the manuscript aside for a couple of weeks. The idea is to let the brain cells regenerate and new ideas emerge.
In the meantime, I’ll be turning back to some of my short fiction projects. I recently posted IN A WINE PHASE on gayauthors.org, a fantastic on-line writer’s community. I’m continuing to look for a home for MIKE’S POND. Maybe I’ll even churn out a new story during this break.
Oh – and why the pic of Robert Verdi? I love his new show!!
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