draft 2 complete, and related ramblings
I finally finished the revised draft of the novel. I'm about ready to let it be read by other people. If you were getting suspicious that it was never gonna happen, well... So was I. But it did happen! The official email indicating where one should go to actually read the thing should be going out to people on The List in the near future. Maybe later today. Or tomorrow. Certainly within the next week. Whatever, it's finished; I'm not in a huge hurry now. (By the way, if you haven't already requested to be put on The List, and you would like to be on The List, just ask me, and I will see about putting you on The List.)
There's a few other stories I've been wanting to write, but I couldn't bring myself to do any work on them until I'd gotten the damn novel into shape. So finally, the last four days or so, I really kicked it into gear. I'd been getting tired of it, but I really drowned myself in the little world I created this weekend. It was nice (yet not nice, because it's not exactly a nice story, once it really gets going, but you know what I mean). Some of those chapters I think I spent longer redoing than I spent writing them in the first place. Chapters 11 and 12, especially, received major face lifts. Yesterday I did chapter 14, the last (and longest) chapter, and then I gave the whole thing another once-over, fixing little typos and slightly awkward wordings (though I probably didn't get them all), making a few small but pervasive changes (like changing a character's name or something), and trying to get a feel for what it would be like to actually READ the thing, which I really hadn't yet done. I started around noon and, save for a brief break that evening to shower, eat, and watch an episode of Kids in the Hall, worked pretty much straight through till I finished it up around 3am. (And then today I went back and made a few more minor tweaks that had been bugging me since I woke up. I think I'm done tweaking now.)
You know, I was always trying to work on it at school during my down time, but I never got much work done there. I guess I really need a long stretch of total quiet without interruptions in order to really do it. Kinda like Jack in The Shining. "Matchan, let me explain something to you. Whenever you come in here and interrupt me, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me. And it will then take me time to get back to where I was! Understand?" I guess I should mention here that, if I let you read the novel and it turns out to consist entirely of "all work and no play makes greyarea a dull boy..." Uhhh... Don't say I didn't warn you.
Current word count is 68,785. That's up from 65,264 for the first draft. And seeing as I must have cut somewhere in the vicinity of 3-4000 words from the original draft... Geez. I wrote a lot of extra stuff. Lessee... 68,785 words would be "all work and no play makes greyarea a dull boy" repeated 6,878.5 times. Now that is an accomplishment.
Anyway, it feels good. It feels DONE. I mean, when I first finished chapter 14, back in November, it was done in that it was all written, but it didn't feel done. And now it does. (At least until if/when people's comments start coming in.) And I can finally start really thinking about all these others ideas I've had in my head, which is exciting because... Hey! I have ideas! Ideas for stories! It seemed that for so long I didn't. But it's not that I suddenly came up with ideas so much as I realized I already had plenty of ideas; I just wasn't thinking of them in that way. Anyway, I've got plenty of story ideas to try and hammer out before I'm in any danger of running dry. I'm gonna focus on short stories for the next while. Novels are just too... obsessive. Like your whole life revolves around getting out that one story, forever and ever, nothing but that, going crazy, alternating between bouts of verbal constipation (you just have to push it through) and verbal diarrhea (cleaning it up afterwards is a bitch). To switch metaphors real quick, committed relationships are great, but the endless fighting gets old. After what I've just been through, I'm looking forward to having a long series of one-night stands.
I think I'm pleased with it, as well. Though I have no idea if it's any good. It's just too close to me. It's like asking me if my sister is good looking. I mean, I know she is good looking because so many other people seem to think she is, but... I don't know, man! She's my sister! And as no one has seen my novel yet, I don't know if it's good looking or not.
Ugh. I need to go to bed.
two and two always makes five,