Sorry for the lack of blog posts the last week or two – while doing draft three I reached the climax, which had a few surprises (understatement!), and it became impossible to give any more sample scenes without revealing VAST TRACTS OF SPOILER.
Today I finished Draft 3.
As with the last two drafts, this is something I was hugely looking forward to…and then when I actually hit “the end”, the result was…underwhelming.
Ever have a sneeze that you can’t wait to get out, and then it just – disappears?
You know my frustration.
- 1 January 2011: started draft 1. Expected it to be 120,000 words
- 24 August 2011: finished draft 1. 235 days. 169,429 words. 720 words per day.
- 1 January 2012: started draft 2.
- 3 August 2012: finished draft 2. 215 days. 210,000 words. 976 words per day.
- 4 August 2012: started draft 3.
- 20 December 2012: finished draft 3. 139 days. 274,594 words. 1,975 words per day.
I’m feeling pretty good about this book right now. Really good, actually. Manic-depressive TJIC sometimes thinks that the book is utterly worthless crap.
Today I think that what I’ve got right now, after three drafts, is pretty damned solid. I think it’s better than 90% of the stuff on bookstore shelves. I think that this could be the kind of novel that lots of people would put in their “favorite novels ever” list.
But, again, there’s that whole manic-depressive thing. I’ll probably be back in DIP mode (“Drunken Irish Poet”) soon enough.
For now, though, a brief break. A feast the day after next, then Christmas with family and friends. Presents under the tree.
And then in January?
I think I’m going to back-burner the novel for a month or so and bust my ass in a short-story challenge with my writing friend Diana Day. Her plan is to write a short story every other week, and revise her stories in the intervening weeks.
Sounds like a plan!
But first – what the !@#$%$ is a short story?
Wikipedia – which never lies, because it’s written by people like me. And also by criminally insane math department grad students – seems to say that it’s something between 1,000 words and 7,500 words.
Call the average 4.5k words, and, yeah, I think I can churn out a polished one of those every two weeks.
I might do this just for January, or I might go longer.
In either case, I’ll eventually get back to the novel. I’d like to get the fourth draft (concentrating on character arcs) done in about three months, and then one quick final draft in another 30-60 days, then off to a contract proof-reader. The goal is still to do a Kickstarter to launch the books around June or July of 2013. And here’s the synergy: free short story give-aways.