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Mission: Successful

Last week I took a few days to lock myself in a hotel room and finish this draft of my novel. It was, in short, perfect.

I drove out Tuesday afternoon, and was actually a little frustrated at how the whole adventure started out: I was stuck in traffic for hours, got a flat tire, and the google map I printed was completely off. However, within thirty minutes of arriving I had loaded all my snacks into the fridge, hung the “do not disturb” sign, changed into my sweats, and was hard at work.

When I woke up on Wednesday I made a pot of coffee and set immediately to work, toiled away for 12 hours, took a dip in the hotel pool, and called it a day. Same for Thursday. Friday morning I woke up with the “a-ha” moment I’d been waiting for and before check out at 11am I was able to make the changes I realized were needed.

When I got home I formated the manuscript, and ta-da, the draft is done!

Technically, it’s my third draft, but the first draft was so bad that I hardly even count it. By the end of the second draft I felt I was on the right track. I’m hoping that this draft is actually getting close.

I’m giving it to my writing group Thursday, and few other folks. My goal is to integrate all their thoughts for a finished draft by the end of the year. Then I’m going to ask a lot more people to read it, and eventually it will go off to the agent. Whoo hooo. Or whoo at least. I’m getting closer.

It’s been such a good year for my writing so far. Dare I push my luck?

A professor once told me that while you’re waiting on feedback on the draft of a novel, the very best thing you can do is start your next one. This serves a few purposes. 1. You keep writing. 2. If you get feedback that says you’re further from done than you thought, you already have another project in the works – you can put the first project aside for a while and come back to it when you’re ready. 3. Any agent is going to want to know what’s next. 4. It keeps you busy so don’t pester your readers.

So I’m trying to decide which project to start on next. I think it’s a memoir, but I might write it as fiction. Why bog down a good story with the truth, I say.

In any case – onward and upward.

3 Comments

  1. JJ Keith
    May 21, 2012

    That advice about moving on to a new project while pitching the old one is great advice! I tend to freak-the-eff-out while I’m waiting to hear back on submissions. My neighbor, who is an artist, told me that I have to have something else going while I’m waiting to hear back from editors. I’ve been marginally less insane since.

    Congrats on finishing the draft!

    Respond
  2. Kelly
    May 24, 2012

    Congrats! That feels so good. I do believe I owe you a read if you need an extra set of eyes (either on this draft or the next one.)

    Respond
    • April
      May 29, 2012

      Thank you! I was actually just thinking that I want to get your thoughts on it, but I’ll wait until the next draft is done. It’s good to get fresh eyes on it at each stage. Cheers!

      Respond

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