Monday, December 17, 2007

First Draft Complete

The first draft is complete. The momentus event actually occurred yesterday in the Denver airport while on a maintenance delay. I wrote the final sentence, typed the final period, and looked up, not quite sure for a moment where I was.

After deleting 13,000 words worth of accumulated notes, ideas, reminders and outlines that had accumulated under the text itself, the manuscript clocks in at 206,000 words. I've been really hoping that it will finalize at under 200k, so with the rough at 206k it should be doable.

The 5th and last Chunk has been printed and is setting at SFF's place at the kitchen table.

While I'm happy with what I've accomplished by completing an entire first draft, I'm not thinking or claiming that I've "written a book". I won't feel that I have until I'm finished with rewrite number X and I can't think of anything else I could do to make it better. Then I'll consider that I've written a book, and whether it gets published or not won't change the fact.

As it exists now I'd be embarrassed to have anyone but SFF read it. I've peeked back at the first few pages and not been impressed with myself. I take solace from thinking that I must have gotten better over the 200k since then, I've been writing in flows with little on screen review, I've done virtually no rewriting yet, I know the characters a ton better, etc.

We'll have to see how the rewrites go. I told SFF today that it may never be good enough even to send out to beta readers (family and friend). I wouldn't send it to them now. I see a complete first rewrite, printing the whole shebang for SFF to read start to finish, getting her input, taking a deep breath and plunging into the second rewrite, and when that is finished sending it out to beta readers. It may never be good enough for that. If not, I guess I stop there - but if its the best I could make it I would at least feel that I'd written a book.

For now, though, all that's in the future and I've finished the first draft.

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