I've been working non-stop on edits and I think I'm ready to send it out to a few people for a read-through. It's nerve-wracking to send writing to friends. I haven't ever really done that before. I can't really judge how good or bad it is. I know it's not life-changing, but I wonder if I handled certain scenes the right way or if it's super boring or far-fetched. And the romance is another thing entirely. I never knew writing a developing relationship would be so difficult! I could sit and tweak it for hours and days probably. I haven't read it from start to end in one sitting since I finished, but I know I'm too close to it to be reasonable so this is the next best thing. It's still hard though.
Final word count on the rough draft: 53560. The final chapter is really slapped together, and it's almost entirely “telling” rather than “showing” but man I'm tired of slowing down the storytelling to add dialogue. I am so excited to get to work on editing I'm probably go to do that for an hour tonight before I go to sleep. But it's done!!
Just finished the climax. Word count is at 52599 and I've got one chapter to go.
I have been writing a little bit every day this week. 400-800 words usually. Today is Saturday and I woke up and have been working on it for several hours and I'm making great progress. I reached the REAL 50,000 words mark a little while ago!
I've got a couple thousand words to go on the climax, and maybe another for the wrap-up at the end. If I don't get too many interruptions I could probably finish the rough draft by the end of today or tomorrow!
I gave myself a forced deadline by entering the book in a contest that requires a 50K book by March 4th. That doesn't give me nearly as long as I should probably take on edits, but it's giving me the motivation I need to soldier through these last chapters and get the book sent out. I should hopefully have time for a first round of edits before the submission deadline. I still don't know exactly how it's going to end, but by this time tomorrow night I will. It's very exciting to be so close. :)
Oh, how I have been stalling! I'm still procrastinating writing the end of the book and getting on with the editing. I've read articles about editing, I posted an excerpt on Facebook, I read Lisa's book and offered suggestions, but not finished mine!
I guess one good thing I did was rewrite the most recent scene. I didn't know how I was going to end the book when I wrote it, and once I figured out the end I knew I needed that last scene to unfold to a different conclusion so the characters would have the right motivation to take us to the end.
I should have probably saved it for the editing phase, but it was a big roadblock in my head. I can't just leave huge things unresolved and go past them. For my personal writing style I need the story to make sense as I go. So I rewrote much of that last scene and now I'm ready to move on to the climax. Hopefully I can do it justice.
An author friend, Cassandra Davis ("Dremiks") posted a challenge to me on Facebook. The challenge was to paste the text from page 7 of your novel into Facebook.
Although I've written quest content for computer games that thousands of players have read, this was so different. I dithered around until I finally got up my nerve and posted it. That particular page isn't even that interesting. It's just Dee exploring in her grandpa's house. I got a lot of encouraging responses though, and everyone was nice. It gave me more confidence about the possibility of publishing.
I've thought I'd probably publish it, but it's hard to put something out there that people might hate. Now I think there could be some people that might like it too.
I talked to a bunch of people that came to Thanksgiving dinner and got some great ideas for how to end it. I can include a sheriff station raid and a farm raid. Plus now there's going to be a hibernating bear and a shotgun. Pretty exciting!
This week has been super busy because a friend is coming to visit and she's bringing some of her friends, so the book has to wait another week.
I made some notes about how my ending should flow and which scenes I need to tweak. I told [my husband] about the scene with Courtney and he said it was way too dark. He said the mom would completely lose all his sympathy if she did that. I personally don't lose sympathy for her, but I'm not sure what readers will think. The whole scene is pretty pivotal to the rest of the story, so I'm keeping it.
It was one of those scenes that I knew far in advance was going to happen, and I'd given it a lot of thought as I knew it was approaching. I write in order, and so on the day I got to that scene I made sure I was going to have some uninterrupted time and then I started. It was the first time (and only time so far) that I'd cried when writing a scene. I think I felt more about it than I managed to convey, but as a mom I can put myself in Courtney's shoes and feel a little bit of her pain at the impossible decision she makes.
Just in case I want to add something more in this time frame.
It's kind of a cop out, but I got to 50K words today by counting the words I had to cut from my original idea. I figure if I hadn't been so edit-y I would still have them, and I wrote them this month so it's not technically cheating. I also counted the words in these notes and in my outline. They are all story related, and the rules allow me to count them, so I did. I was just too stressed about finishing to 50 in time and I've got too much to do for the holiday. I'm at Jiffy Lube right now, I baked cookies, colored my hair, actually got a shower. I'm still picking up something for dinner though, lol. I don't have much to go to finish the first draft, and I'm hoping to get it done in the next week. Excited and relieved!