The Beginning of The End: The Crappy First Draft
At long last, book two in the “Fireflies” series, working title Love to Believe, is off my list of things to do. (Book one, Love Built to Last, is in queue for first round edits with my publisher, Black Opal Books.)
I typed The End for book two—complete at upwards of 92,000 words—almost two weeks ago. But that isn’t the literal end. No, The End is not The End, not by A Long Shot.
After The End editing and revising was required to move the manuscript from Crappy First Draft to Edited Crappy First Draft. I’ve done that, and at this writing have just five minutes ago sent the finished product to my critique partner, author Terry Lynn Thomas, who now has the dubious honor of being First Reader and offering opinions and insights into this raw version of the book. Thanks for taking one for the team, Terry.
After Terry’s critique notes are done, it will still not be The End. She will find oopsies, things that I missed, and maybe even plot holes and inconsistencies that I can’t see because I’m too close to the story. And because she’s honest and will tell me (in the nicest way possible) if the book sucks, I’ll be biting my nails waiting for her thumbs up or thumbs down, after which I will do another round of edits, and probably more revising, before I send it to my publisher. After the publisher receives it there will be three more rounds of edits. And then it will be, at long last, The End.
Except it won’t.
There is a book three in the series, another couple whose story must be told (they’ve been screaming at me for over a year now, eager to get their romance underway), so The End—the real end, the series end—won’t happen for another 90,000+ words. I’m a human dichotomy at the moment, torn between the part of me that is desperate for a mini-vacation from these characters living in my head 24/7 and the other part of me that is jonesing to sit at the keyboard and get the party started for book three. They won’t leave me alone until their story is told, you see. Once it’s out of my head and on paper—poof!—the characters will waltz into a corner of my mind where they will drink ooh-gobs of wine and feast on truffles (the chocolate kind, not the fungus kind) with other characters whose stories are also complete, making room for new characters to materialize. And materialize they will, like a virus, the second a plot of gray-matter real estate opens up. The bossy ones show up before there’s room, and then it’s really overpopulated in there.
My brain is a crowded place, Buttercup.
Yes, I know. A psychiatrist could have a field day.
My husband, should I ask him, will vote for the mini-vacay. He’s labeled himself a Writing Widower for some time, but never more than since I signed on the dotted line and became contractually obligated to produce my books. I’ve abandoned him for these fictional characters and he’s supportive enough that he’s not complained (well, not much) about having to eat dinner alone as he did tonight. At this very moment he’s watching TV alone and probably drinking a glass of wine alone (yeah, gonna rectify that one in just a few), and yesterday resorted to ironing a shirt for himself because his closet ran dry (I usually do the ironing because rule #564 in the Claro Marriage Handbook promises that for every shirt I iron I get a 10 minute foot massage. Yes, it’s a sweet deal. Envy me!) At this very minute he’s crashed on the couch, lonely and pining for yours truly. At least, he better be.
Lest you think I’ve skewed my priorities, rest assured I have not. Hubby and the fam will always come first no matter what, but I’m a lucky lady who has support and understanding from my better half. It amazes me most days, the amount of faith my man has in me, and humbles me always. Thanks, THLB. (I can’t tell y’all the Naked Truth on what those initials stand for. It’s a tad ooey-gooey and promises to spike your blood sugar to the point of requiring a shot of insulin, so . . . you’re welcome.)
Please excuse my rambling today, but my excitement is spilling over, and all because of The End.
It has a certain ring of accomplishment to it, doesn’t it? Even when it’s really just The Beginning.
Thanks for hanging out with me! Please put yourself in the Buff! Leave a comment about stuff you do that overtakes your time. Whatever it is, are you glad to have it usurp your hours (as I am with my writing), or do you yearn for a vacation on some faraway beach with cabana boys and colorful drinks garnished with little umbrellas?
See you next week for more of the Naked Truth!
Have a great week –