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A Full First Draft


Well, I did it. I managed to write an entire novel in a first rough draft. Before I start the process of rewriting and spiral into a freak out that's been largely waiting to happen since I finished on Sunday, I thought I'd bring myself back into perspective by looking at how far I have come. The entire novel, as it sits now, tallies at a total of 19 chapters, 109 pages, and 72,466 total words. That's a lot.

When I started to seriously get going on this draft in mid-August, early September, I wasn't sure I'd get this far. I am hoping by October to have a bound and fairly readable version to hand over at the Convention---as promised and planned. Considering that I do have a full first draft to work from that should be doable, yes?

I learned a lot doing this. I learned how hard it is to write, even when you would rather pig out and veg in front of the TV or play video games or sleep or do ANYTHING else that isn't writing. As much as it is having imagination and talent, it's also just strapping yourself into your chair and DOING the work. Oddly, the strange anxiety that bubbled inside always went away AFTER clicking print. Then, I could veg a little and watch something and relax somewhat.

I learned that it's hard to maintain a story's progression in a natural way, but I'm hoping as I go back through now that the foundation there will give me the chance to improve on it and make it a tighter story. I also found that it kind of morphed over time in its own way to meld the story to what was natural all on its own. A song I had meant to use once kept cropping up again and again. A phrase would slip back into the narrative. I'm hopeful that means I was doing something right while working on this beast.

I had a rough outline of what I wanted to have happen and how it should happen, and as I went along, those pieces fell into place naturally, too. I found when I didn't fight with the story or try to force things, moments I wanted to happen at certain points would merely happen elsewhere. Other things surprised me. Oddly, knowing the plot and what would happen didn't stop that. I would find myself, at the end of a chapter, scratching my head as to how this or that could have possibly happened.

The characters also became more and more like real people. I've carried them now with me for over a year, and the good thing about doing a rewrite is being able to stay with them all that much longer. I feel deeply for them, even though they started as rough sketches as all characters do. They're real and their sorrow is mine. What was a simple story idea has overtime shifted into a story more about love than it is about horror. Forgiveness also crops up time and time again, and really, that's the whole thing in a nutshell. Forgiving and not forgiving has consequences.

Most of all, what I learned is that I CAN do this. I am certain that I will finish a rewrite--possibly two or three more drafts before October! I also know that it'll take hard work, the same perseverance, and a no quit attitude when it comes time to getting this novel published. I also know that I want to be the author of any screen play version, so once I get done with the novel, well, we kind of get to start over. A writer's work is much like a woman's: it is never done. Which means, well, I best get to work, right?

Far Away Eyes

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Congratulations! You've passed a HUGE milestone! And I can't wait to read your novel (oh, wait: I HAVE to wait, don't I? Not quite published yet, and besides - there are these audiobooks I need to buckle down and produce first ... *grin*).

Doing the work instead of making excuses for doing other things is one of the very biggest things we all need to learn when it comes to pursuing our dreams. It's one that I've also finally learned, and just in time - the publisher just approved the first 15 minutes of the fully produced, fully mastered audiobook project I'm working on, so - it's time to record the next 9 hours or so. With about 6 hours of editing and production on every hour, this is going to take me a while ... but I'm VERY happy to be stepping out on the next chapter of my life as a creative artist!

Enjoy the rewriting!


It's been an interesting journey and I just have to maintain the drive and focus. I can't relax or let up until I hold a bound copy---and even then I must keep at it to get it published and such.

I hope you get to do more with the audio books soon! That's so awesome. It sounds like a lot of time and hard work, but it's the kind of work that is rewarding and fulfilling. I always feel like I'm doing something that might actually change the world when I work on my novel. I'm hoping someone will pick it up and read it someday and feel a shift in them---not unlike how SPN changed me itself.

As for waiting to read, I'm looking to open the floor to trusted SPN Family to help me edit and beta read this beast. I'm currently sending what I get done in rewrite to my best friend from college, first, but the third draft will be parsed out to those willing to give feedback, be it a simple comment on it or a detailed edit and mechanics check. Those going to ChiCon will also get to sign the dedication page that each person who helps will be listed on, so hey. If you're willing, you can read it then!

Good luck with the audio books and thanks so much for the support!

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