First Drafts

Still haven’t gotten used to the overly-caffeinated feeling of finishing a first draft. I got the last word down a little after lunch time (hotdog wolfed down at my desk, dressed in pink plush bathrobe, window cracked to the gray April wetness outside), and have been bouncing around the apartment for the last hour or two feeling weightless and confused.

Of course, the most enjoyable part is going into all twenty-eight of my goal lists and highlighting in indigo whatever permutation of “write a novel” might be listed there. Love the feeling of accomplishment—like whatever else happens this year (or doesn’t happen! Sad fact of my (non)publishing history), I will still be able to say I wrote a book in 2010.

Four books by the age of 27, which doesn’t exactly make me successful, but it’s been a solid apprenticeship.

I remember whining to somebody once about wondering whether I was any good or if I could have a career in writing, and he said, “well, write a million words, and then we’ll talk about whether or not you’re any good.”

Not the most cheerful advice, but I’ve got about half a million words in the bank now, so I’m willing to hope there’s some truth to it.

Besides updating my to do lists and zipping off a copy of the rough draft to my brother (fantasy writer) for opinions, I’m not sure I’m ready to start on the next major project on my list: revising the opening 50 pages of an historical fiction saga that got a few tentative nibbles last year when I sent it around the agent circuit. A few nibbles that dried up after the first reading, so I’m pretty sure it’s the opening chapters that sunk that particular ship.

Let’s see, here’s what else I’ve got on my plate for April:

  • Send the murder nov to first batch of test readers
  • Revise first 50 pages of the historical fiction nov
  • Update potential agent list for the HF nov
  • Research potential writing conferences or online writers groups with good agent/editor relations

None of which will get done today. Can’t shift from one book to another that quickly. Shall probably read and do dishes and upload pictures and try to get my head strapped back into place. Ok, and maybe some teeny form of celebration tonight. Maybe something sticky and delicious. Baking has always been a happy outlet for me. 🙂

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3 thoughts on “First Drafts

  1. Hello Jane. I’m John. I found your blog site from its listing on the WordPress.com/tab/fiction page. You appear to have an organized approach to writing and submitting your work. Why don’t you post some of your fiction writing here?

    I’m putting a WordPress blog site together with some short stories and excerpts from longer, novel length works still in progress, hoping to receive critical feedback from other WordPress writers. I’ve just started networking through the tabs looking to read and comment on the works of other writers.

    Your “First Drafts” post jumped out at me. I need to be taking a similar approach if I want to get published. Meanwhile I’m using my blog to “self publish.”

  2. YAY!!!! So exciting! Gold star, high five AND massive cupcake with fluffy frosting!!!!!!! Wish I was there in person to jump up and down in the living room with you and squeal. I look really strange when I jump up and down these days. Heh. (so sorry I’ve been missing all your posts..I got lost in the plethora of blogs you keep these days and somehow didn’t have this one listed in my RSS)

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