Finished the draft of BLOOD yesterday, as planned, and in about half the words I expected it to take.
Of course, today I feel like I’m nursing a hangover, or at the very least I should do the proper thing and crawl back under the covers for another hour or two of sleep. But Christmas preparations and my work-week stop for no one, especially DURING Christmas, so no snoozing for me. Boo.
I had budgeted some 10-12,000 words for the ending but thankfully it didn’t take that much. Clocking in a a little over 6,000 words for the day (a personal best), the entire draft comes in at over 101,000 words, fully 25K more than my sophomore effort (and lets not talk about the freshman failure, okay?). Lots to work with, and lots still to do.
The plan is to give myself some time before diving into the draft. The rest of December and all of January will be for reading and writing exercises. Back to the Writing Fiction textbook, back to playing with the few short stories I have on the go, and (quelle surprise) reading a few books on editing. I may edit a couple of my un-submitted short stories — use them as training wheels if you like — before hitting the BIG EDIT of the novel.
Big edit. Of my novel. YIKES.
And to stop myself from line editing as much as possible, instead of printing out the draft I’m going to send a copy into iAnnotate and do my first read for structural issues there. I know me — give me a paper draft and I will zoom in on the line edits and overwhelm myself. Get the structure fixed first, then go in for the polish. When it’s time for the polish, then it will get a printing. Until then, I’m going electronic, baby!
The only downside, and the one that really worries me? I don’t know how long a full revision should take. At least while drafting I can comfortably estimate how long it should take me to write x-amount of words. With editing, since my limited experience has been only on short stories, I have NO idea. And I want to have a deadline. (Which is weird, as deadlines that I’ve set for myself has never worked in the past. Never ever.) Deciding that December 22nd was D-Day for the novel absolutely helped me finish it. At the same time it feels weird and empty not having this big project on my hands. But I can’t just arbitrarily say, “I want to be done the edits by the end of March.” Sure, I can say that, but I might be setting myself up for some serious failure. At the same time, I don’t want it to take forever, though that in large part depends on how much good material I have to work with as well as how long the editing itself will take.
Pondering. I suspect a great deal of my free time will be taken up with some free writing and mind-mapping while I (try to) figure this all out.
Plus, it’s Christmas. And that’s kind of awesome. Weird how my circle of family has shrunk mightily in the past year, and yet I’m busier than ever. Not that it’s a bad thing.