Sunday, December 5, 2010

Draft 0.9

Late Friday night/early Saturday morning I typed THE END at the bottom of my novel. And then I just stared at it for a while. And then, this being the age that it is and the time that it was, I updated my FaceBook status and went to bed.

If only typing those words meant that I was done with this particular work. Unfortunately, it's not even at a place where I can call it a complete draft--that will require another couple of months of writing. Writing I won't be able to get to until January. I have a story to rewrite for my last homework packet and much, much reading to do to prepare for January's residency in Maine. Oh, and I still need to read a short story for a friend and give her notes. Honestly, it already feels a little anticlimactic.

But I am happy to be done. This is the first time I've been able to finish the draft of a novel. Now I need to figure out what to do with it. In January, I suppose I'll start patching some of the holes I know exist in the draft. One of the things that allowed me to finish is that I didn't go back and fix things as they occurred to me. I think that's where I'd lost momentum on earlier attempts at a novel. I rewrote as I went and I lost steam. This time I forged ahead and kept notes about all of the things I needed correct. Another thing that helped me was a trick I picked up from Corey Doctorow. He suggest that anytime he came across something that he needed to look up while writing would instead get a "TK" in it's place in the manuscript. TK being two letters that almost never occur together in English. Then, once he's done with a draft, he goes back and replaces all those TKs. Using that method meant that I ran up against something I didn't know at the time I was writing, I didn't have to stop and go look something up on the amazing time-suck device known as the Internet. I just typed two little letters and continued on. We'll see how I feel once I start replacing all of those instances of TK.

So things will be a little quiet here as I try and get caught up on homework. No more writing about writing. At least not the close-to-real-time blogging I've been doing lately. There are a few things I want to write about in the next little while. I want to write about the novel I just (sort of) finished. I want to write about the MFA program I am attending and why I decided to attend one at all. And, based on an email I got from a friend on FaceBook, I want to write a little about my process of writing in general. If anyone reading this has any questions along those lines, add them as a comment and I'll do my best to answer them.

For now, here's the last numbers update for some time. Remember that these are Friday/Saturday's numbers
Daily word count: 2,339
Monthly word count: 5,319
Novel word count: 103,450


Anonymous said...

Turning off your inner editor and plunging forward is the key (I've heard). We don't have the time Fitzgerald did: satisfied with a good solid page a day (yet rarely rewriting). The TK trick is interesting - particularly since those are my initials.

Looking forward to reading some draft somtime down the line!

adam jk gallardo said...

Ti, does that mean you're volunteering to be a first reader? And be careful how you answer...