Friday, June 20, 2014

And It's Done

The Zero Draft of The Silent Well is finished. 

Next week I'll begin the process of dashing it against the rocks and cleaning it up into a Zero Point Five draft that I can share with the folks who've been asking me about it. 

So, the story behind this book is that it's a sequel to my novel The Cold Distance, which is out on the street trying to find an agent and/or a publishing home. I have collected several rejections on it already but there's some hope. I'll let you know if/when things are moving on it.

I started this book on November 1, 2013. NaNoWriMo, yes. By the end of November I'd written 61,000 words on it. I kept writing into December. I don't remember exactly when I stopped but the book stalled out about 10,000 words later right smack in the mushy middle. As to why, I can't really say. I think it was a bit of boredom, maybe a bit of the holidays, maybe some other stuff. I was still recovering from my illness in August and the weather was getting heavy with lots of snow to come. 

And for months the book sat there on my hard drive, the death bar on the right column of this blog sat there taunting me, too. The characters were begging me to finish. Or I imagined so, anyway. 

Spring was busy and I had to get back into a regular exercise routine that had also fallen fallow during the snowiest winter I'd experienced in a while. My health was far more important. And my son graduating high school, too, took precedence. 

But in the week following that graduation I found the thing I didn't know I was looking for. I knew the end of the book, had already outlined the final scene. What I needed was a little motivation to think about how it would get there. (Yes, I'm a hot mess of planner/pantser when it comes to plotting stories, so what?)

But once I knew what had to happen to get me to the end it actually ran pretty quickly. I started carving out time to type.

I'd had a goal of 2,000 words a day and I rarely made it. But it was a goal. Often there were 1,000 words but almost as often there were only 700 or 800 words a day. It didn't matter. I was moving toward the goal of finishing. 

It took me almost a month to write some 30,000 words to finish the draft but I did and it's done.

Now comes the process of hammering it into readable shape. First things first, I will read the book backwards, chapter by chapter, and write the summary of beats. That way when I go back through the book from the beginning I will know exactly what's happening where and if things need to move I'll have a better idea of how to do that.

I hope.

Anyway, it's done. I can relax a little. Gotta finish cataloging the comic collection then get started next week on finishing a novelette that has the working title "Outgrowth". More on that another time.

In the meantime, I'm kinda doing this: