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.