Friday, February 18, 2011

It's the End of the World As We Know It (I Feel Fine)

Go ahead and play that R.E.M. song up's an excellent anthem, especially for a Friday. So after a long, gruelling morning wrestling with my current work in progress, I have officially come to the conclusion that I am done with the first draft.

I know, it sounds odd to not really know if I am done with the first draft yet or not. But this book has been...shall we say, a problem child. I've had three false starts, and one major stall in the middle. The book is now a Frankenstein book, where there are tangents that need to be cut, scenes that are missing, and a whole lot of steps in the middle that I had to skip out of necessity. Confused yet? I was this morning!

I was going to write some of those missing scenes, but in order to know the context (Is this before or after she discovered the secret plot? After she found out the Big Secret?), I would have to know exactly what happened in the beginning. The beginning of the book is where some of the biggest changes were made, and I have lost all manner of objectivity with this first draft. So I decided that this will be a good place to stop tinkering with the first draft, and just call it done. I will have plenty of time to find my plot holes in revision. It feels really anticlimactic to write a book like this. There's no clear "Okay, I wrote the end. Now I am done, huzzah!" to it. But I am come as far as I can with this first draft. The next step would be to start tearing the book apart and figuring out what to cut and what to keep.

Hey guys, anyone want to do "Swan Lake"?
And that is very clearly revision. So hence my decision to call it done.

I am tired, too. I've been working hard on this book since December, and working hard on first drafts since October. Before that, I was working hard with developing these two projects. In between my own work, I'd also beta read four plus books. So yeah, tired.

Playing Guitar Hero with my twin brother yesterday, and reading the awesome comments on the post really put some things into perspective for me. When all you do is go to the day job and write, with very few things in between, writing can feel like an all consuming task. You loose some perspective on it, because it's all you're doing. A rejection feels like the end of the world. A stalled scene feels like utter failure.

But it's not. It's business as usual. Sure, this first draft is a hot mess, but that's no big deal. I can fix it, it's not completely broken. I have as long as I need to make it the best book I know it can be. So do you.

So after a week of hard posts, let's all take a collective sigh. It's going to be okay--really it is. It feels like a world changing problem, but it's not.

Do something fun this weekend! Shake things up! Paint the dog! Bathe the cat! Get lost on purpose!

And then come tell us about the fun you had.

What do you like to do for fun? 

I would so go walking there if I could right now.

*thank you, Free Digital Pictures for making this post prettier.


  1. Woot! Huzzah! And other celebratory noises!

  2. Congrats on officially finishing your first draft. That is a major accomplishment that is celebration worthy!

  3. Thanks Trisha! I don't know yet what I am going to do...but it *might* involve a book shopping spree.

  4. *does the end of the first draft Snoopy Dance*