Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Home Stretch

Twenty-three days ago, I finally started work on my first novel. I received Book in a Month as a prize in a recent writing contest and used it to give me the final boost I needed to get started. I turned in a few paid assignments at the beginning of March and one yesterday, but other than that, I have been diligently cranking out 2,000-3,000 words a day to get me to my final goal of a 70,000-75,000 manuscript at the end of this month. This is a rough draft at best -- I'm envisioning weeks (maybe months) of revising and hair-pulling beginning April 1, but at least the hard part will be done.
I've had the idea for this book for a few years, but it's amazing how much the plot, tone and characters have changed since I wrote my first outline. It still surprises me how easily the words and dialogue flow once I make the commitment to sit down at my computer each day.
This has not been an easy process. Every now and then, I'll sit down to write and have a panic attack. What if the completed product is no good? Will I ever be able to actually show this to anyone? What scene am I supposed to come up with next? Is this too personal?
I'm feeling a little cranky as I enter the home stretch. The house is a wreck. The inside of my car looks like clowns have been living inside it. Dinner tonight is eggs. Lady Gaga is getting me through with a few dance breaks here and there and my heroine is getting ready to do something really stupid. I'm planning to finally read the Twilight series as my reward after I finish the rough draft. My family has been wonderfully supportive. This morning my 6-year-old daughter asked me how much I was going to get paid for my book. I wish! And I already have an idea for my next book, if you can believe it. Thanks to all my friends who have been cheering me on! And now, back to throwing together dinner for my hungry children.

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