I have a novel draft.
The weekend was a good one, followed by a few slow days where I was starting to get mopey. My deadline, already extended, was until mid-September and was slipping again. And I really, really wanted to go to that week's writing group meeting and say, “I'm done.” I went to bed on Tuesday night and the last four scenes finally sorted themselves out. I hit the keyboard before 9:00 am the next day and stuck through it until I was done. 5,800 words later I had — finally, finally! — a 96,500 word draft!
Oh, the beer was good at the meeting, I'll tell ya. *g*
This isn't my first rodeo. The first time I finished, after struggling so long with so many false starts, getting through to the other side was miraculous. I won't lie: there was jumping up and down, shouting, and even tears. The times after that: giddiness, coupled with being very, very tired. Followed by the inevitable novel hangovers. I don't even want to look at computer for a week after, or more.
This time though, I'm not feeling the typical novel hangover. I could have kept going the day afterwards. Happily. But what to work on? I can't dig into revisions for this book right away. I've got to let it sit a bit. But there's a previous novel to rip to shreds and rebuild, another project that can be adapted, and a few other possibilities dancing at the edges of my brain. I'm eager to be on to the next project.
Excited as I am about finishing, what's really encouraged me is that over the course of this project I was hitting word count targets that far exceeded what I'd done previously. (Crazy awesome final day of writing aside.) Each time I get through a novel draft a little faster. Not easier, mind, but faster. I think that with a fully replotted BLOOD OF WOLVES, I might be able to tackle it in the last three months of the year.
But for now, a mini-break, and a lot of thinking to do.