And with a week to spare…
…I’ve finished the first draft of The Iron Wood!
I have to say I’m pretty excited and happy and all of those things. Yes, I cried when I finished, as I was pretty sure I would, but then I had cake and a block of chocolate and a cup of tea and I was all smiles.
I’ll have a longer post tomorrow or the day after, once I’ve figured out what to do next. During the rewriting and revision process, it doesn’t really seem appropriate to have the same 500 word/day metric, just because words per day doesn’t reflect the work I’m doing. Not everything will need complete rewriting–so how do I score revision? Anyway, I may end up doing a certain amount of time per day, I’m not really sure. For now I am taking the teensiest of breaks, and tonight I don’t care in the slightest about what I will do in the morning.
….yeah, so I can’t even leave it at that. Man, my self-enforced work ethic has really done a number on me. Tomorrow I will start plotting out the book scene by scene and figure out which ones can be cut or combined with other scenes, to tighten up the book. It’s currently standing at about 105,000 words, which is a tad long for my tastes (and the tastes of agents and editors when it comes to debut YA authors). Luckily I already have a pretty good idea of which sections need compression or downright cutting, and it shouldn’t be too hard. I am contemplating a serious stylistic change in the rewrite that would make it absolutely hellish, and yes, completely rewritten from the ground up. Notice that I only say “contemplating.” I’ve started the rewrite already with the first 1,000 words in this style and will have a good long think about it before I do much more than that.
So tomorrow I will put all the scenes on note cards and play with the events, taking out what I can, and seeing how much bulk I can lose. I’m excited to get on the rewrite. Exhausted (after a day of struggling to squeeze out a thousand words, suddenly flooding out a good 6,000 of them around dinner is a bit much) but excited. I’ll be thinking (and blogging!) a lot more about agents and publishing, as I work on the rewrite. I have a short list of people I intend to query, and I’m hoping to share as much of the process as I can while I do it, for anyone who finds their way here and in the similar situation of trying to figure out what to do next.
For now it’s time to sleep the sleep of the righteous. Or maybe the sleep of the dead. Either way I am going to Sleep and it’s going to be awesome. Because I have a lot of work to get on in the morning.
PS: How awesome is it that at 75,000 words I predicted approximately 30,000 words left–and somehow the finished draft weighed in at almost exactly 105,000? IT’S FATE I TELL YOU. FATE. Okay, okay. I really am going to bed now.
Thanks, hon! <3
Yay! Congratulations! I’ve only finished one full-length draft before, but I know what a great feeling that is.
Thanks! It is a really awesome feeling. I know I have a ton of work ahead of me still but for now I’m pretty pleased.
Congratulations! This is awesome. I hope you have a great time revising–I kind of love that part 🙂
Wow, you weirdo… who enjoys revising?!
(PS, do mine for me…)
Thanks for the congrats!
Hehe, I’d totally do your revising for you–could you write my next first draft for me? ;P
I guess I love how a first draft is sort of all out there, but all the rounds of revision tighten things up. It’s like starting out with a linen handkerchief and ending up with a tapestry 🙂
My dirty little secret: I’ve never really done much revising. I’m new to it. In the past I was that delusional writer who thought her first drafts were so brilliant they didn’t need more than superficial cleaning and tidying. I know better now, obviously, but I lack that experience. So who knows… maybe it’ll turn out I like it too!
Fingers crossed. If rather doubtfully. 😉
Maybe by the time you reached 75,000 words, you’d learned just how many words it takes for certain things to happen. Estimating the word length of a novel or scene is something I think writers learn with time. 🙂
Congratulations X a billion!!!
Ooh, I like that. That makes me sound so much better than my theory, which is a lot about coincidence and guessing and just getting lucky…
OMG Meagan! Congratulations!!! :DDDD That is just plain awesome. You rock!
Thank you SO much! I’m so psyched. 😀
(I hope that tea was Alice’s.)
Oh Alice’s, only you understand me!
<3s to you. You shall read it soon. BWAHAHA. Etc.
YAY! WELL DONE! Your dedication is so inspiring- seeing you finish has made me reaaaally want to finish my WIP only I’ve been such a lazy tosser recently. Lol. Anyway hope you had a lovely rest and congratulations!!!
Thank you so much!
It’s so weird, because I honestly AM a totally lazy person. But this experiment in the 500 words/day area has really changed a lot, and not just in that I actually finished the darned thing. It sounds cheesy but I think that you really ARE what you do. If you do something long enough it changes the way you think. No, it changes the way you live.
Anyway, no more philosophy for me. I toootally have faith that you can finish. Just gotta want it! Cue Rocky montage music here! EYE OF THE TIGER!
Ahaha well just because of that rocky music, I’m going to re-start this chapter which is giving me so much grief. RIGHT NOW.
I abandoned my 500 word commitment because it was stressing me out too much with having to juggle uni. But now I’m on holidays I’m just too scared to start again. I have no idea why. Everything feels like crap, and isn’t measuring up to how I want it. But you’re right, I just have to DO IT! Thanks 🙂
I completely know that feeling. For me fear is usually the number one thing stopping me, and definitely what was keeping me from getting past the first 10-30k words of every novel I started. I suspect it’s a bit different for everyone, but for me what helped was (okay, cheese warning again) giving myself permission to write badly, if that makes sense. As a friend of mine is fond of reminding me, you can’t edit a blank page. You can ALWAYS fix something after you’ve written it–you can’t do it though if you never put it down on paper. I think writers are probably often perfectionists and that kind of gets in our way. Grr.
*joins the congratulatory party a little late* This is really amazing 😀 Congrats!
Thank yoouuu! 😀
I am so, so proud of you. I know how hard it’s been at times for you to shove aside the doubts and the worries and silence your internal editor, and I know you’ve plunked your butt in that chair to drag out 500 words some day.
But people you do NOT UNDERSTAND. It is THAT GOOD. Could not stop reading, and got to the end and started screaming for the sequel. The climax! And the emotional investment! And the… there is just nowhere I can take this without spoiling. But TRUST ME.
She is going to kill me for this. I don’t care. I sing my love for this story.
Ack, you are way too nice to me! And besides, you know I would not have finished if it weren’t for you, so there. Whether it was reminding me of my commitment or bribing me for more words or making me chicken pie or whatever was required. <3
Sorry to have neglected LiveJournal — it’s been so long that my last entry was in cuneiform. But it’s great to hear of your progress. Can’t wait to see the finished product.
Aww, yay! I’m so happy to hear from you! And thanks, I’m pretty excited to have done it. It’s been ages since I finished anything on my own. Odyssey doesn’t count in my head, finishing because you’re terrified of Jeanne and Susan is not exactly finding your inner strength… 😛