I FINISHED FINDER! 133,038 words. 506 d/s pages. I am pleased. I printed up just the ending sequence--all those threads coming together, climaxes, denouements and their ilk. Until I read it hard copy, I can't tell if it's right because I'm working and reading at the same time. I need to read it straight through--no red pen! Then I will know for sure--but I think it's pretty bangerang. Now what?? Of course, there will be a hard copy pass, because I rarely catch typos on the screen. After that, I'll start on the synopsis and query and all that good stuff I need for submissions. I'm not exactly sure where I stand with betas at the moment. My usual suspects are swamped with crazy schedules that do NOT need more heaped into them. We'll see. (*note* Never fear, flisters! I am NOT trolling for readers!!) I'd like to start querying soon after the new year. It's a good time to query; many agents have closed down for the holidays so that they can catch up on the old year before the new one starts rolling out of control. I've also gotten word that there is an agency specifically calling for fantasy manuscripts. I'd like to hop on that before it's no longer the case. For now, I'm stoked! I'll read those hard copy pages tomorrow. Next week, I'll do the hard copy edit--just in time for the holidays! Maybe I'll do a short story before starting the synopsis (though this one is almost written already--it just sort of happened in an email to a friend!) Not sure, not sure. I'm just HAAAAAAPPY! I'm going to go make a cup of tea and bask in the afterglow. My daughter (aka, chaos) will arrive home any time now to bless me with a month of her brand of crazy. Tonight, the hubs and I are taking her and her boyfriend out for a bite to eat and to see A Christmas Carol. (Yes, I've seen it--but the baby wants to go. :-P I'm in such a good mood, I'll oblige.) Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! I wish I could get the sparkles to work on my own page!
I've tweaked 243/509 pages. So far, there have been no major glitches, no minor ones either. In fact, it's pretty tight. Cohesive. It should be, because this part of it has already been through two full drafts! I've just reached that halfway point where I pulled out a character and pulled forward one that came in later. So far, so good. Success!
The draft stands now at 133,859 words--pretty much the same as it was when I finished. I'm thinking it's not going to waver much.
It's FINISHED!!!! Wooooooooooohooooooooooooooo! Finder, draft 2.5 is D. O. N. E! And I am really, really happy with it. Happy enough to leave it alone now? Nay! I'll do one more on-screen pass, then print it up and do a hard copy edit. The plot works. All loose ends are tied. Not a plot bunny in sight. Smooth, tighten, polish, and this thing is ready.
The end wordcount is 133,992 (that's 510 d/s pages.) That means I wrote 7,586 words this week. Not too shabby. Yes, longer than I wanted, but once I tighten and trim, it will be of acceptable length. I didn't work this hard on keeping the word count down to be thwarted now!
I did my happy dance up at my computer desk. I did my happy dance down the stairs (and nearly tripped over a cat.) I did my happy dance across the great room floor. Now I will make a cup of tea and bask in the glory I so richly deserve.
There won't be too many more of these (as if you all wait with bated breath for me to post them!) I'm nearly done with draft 2.5. Depending upon how next week goes, I'll probably finish next Friday. I have five more mini-scenes to write, those pop-pop-pop climactic scenes. (You're writers; you know what that means.) I've been taking it easy, stopping after a scene is done rather than starting the next. So, yeah--we'll see.
Right now, Finder 2.5 clocks in at 126,406 words. I'm figuring roughly, but it should finish at around 130K, give or take a few. Though I'd have felt much better finishing the whole draft at or nearer to that 125K, I'm not going to squash the ending just to make word count. Tight as this baby is right now, I'm certain it can be tighter. 5K won't be too hard to trim away. (She says with a hopeful heart!)
It is REALLY coming together, better than I had hoped. I won't go into the why and how of that at this time, but I will say it is thanks to input culled from a couple of question posts I asked right here in LJland. So THANKS!
What comes after that? Draft 3, of course. More smoothing and polishing, and when I have made it as perfect as perfect can be, I'll send it out to betas who will prove to me how wrong I was about that. :)
Now I'm off to the grocery store to buy the necessities for making eggplant lasagna and meatball lasagna. Yes, the baby-one is coming home tonight and she wants mama's cooking. She's lucky I love her so much.
Tomorrow, the book warehouse going out of business is pricing all books at ONE DOLLAR! They just got four truckloads of books from the warehouse and into the shop. I wonder what goodies I'll find tomorrow! Nothing so great as the Tim Powers book, I'm certain, but one never knows.
He's a good boy.
Yes, another Friday has come. Last week's count for Finder 2.5 ended with 124,247 words, 473 d/s pages. This week??
122,709; 465 d/s pages.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you! It's no typo. I shaved off another 1500 words and 8 pages, and that is with adding several scenes that hadn't existed after draft 2.
My lesson gleaned from draft 2.5 so far--revising doesn't just mean taking good words, good scenes and tightening them up, making them better. It means ripping the dang thing to shreds if necessary, keeping only the gist of what went on. Sometimes, it means deleting a scene--a whole scene and not just a line--you loved that just wasn't necessary. It happens. Not with every scene. Not even with most scenes. But some scenes need that kind of brutality. I've never had a problem with that whole seeing my own words as some sort of sacred text thing--but taking out whole scenes, entire characters?? I've done it, but not on this scale. It's fantastic. It's freeing. Have I mentioned how much I love revising? ;)
Have a great weekend, all!
Finder, draft 2.5 stands now at 124,247 words, 473 d/s pages. It hovers there (because you know I still check daily!) no matter what I take out or put in, so I guess I can assume words are coming and going at an equal rate.
I still have those final few scenes to write, but I also have a nice chunk coming up that's going to be ripped out. I am confident that I'll finish this draft within the 125K goal. Dare I say I might actually go below it? No, I daren't.
It also occurs to me that I've not updated The Uterine Wall Street Journal in a while. Since LJ is sans LJ cuts right now, I'll just tell you that if you weren't one of those following that thread, feel free to look away.
Long and short--everything is peaceful. The IUD thingy isn't working perfectly, but it's working. Come my regular, anual checkup in April, I'll know the pattern I can expect and give him a report and he'll tell me if it's normal or not. So, that's that. All that drama and it fizzles out as noiselessly as it crept up on me.
(And you know what sucks? I can put sparkles on everyone else's LJ, but for some reason, it won't post right on mine! Poop!)
First, the bad news, because from there, it can only get better: I'm NOT going to finish at or under 125K.
The good news: If it goes more than 1k over that, I'll be shocked.
At the moment, the w/c stands at 124,055 words. With only 2 or 3 scenes left to write, and short, ending-type scenes at that, I'm feeling pretty good. I'd be resting easy if I were still somewhere around 120K, but, hey--I can't get greedy. And this is so much better than having to cut 5K words after the second draft. (Until I go back to the beginning to give it another pass, it's still the second draft, as far as I'm concerned.)
I want to cut a character. I have since I created him. I need him, but the need is almost invisible no matter how imperative his place in things is. Draft three is going to examine him with a microscope. His presence bugs me. I keep coming back to, "What are you doing here anyway?!" I've given him two drafts thus far to prove his worth. Strike three and he's out.
In other news, I'm off to Kansas in the wee hours of Friday morning. I'll be there through the weekend while my boys run amuck here at home. I am not bringing my computer, though I'm sure my husband will bring his. If I'm unusually silent (ha! ME, silent!!!) it's because I'm somewhere out on the prairie where the only internet service depends upon satellites. If I miss anything good, ping me!
Yesterday, before deleting all those scenes, I printed them up individually. Today, before restarting those pages, I went through them with a highlighter, marking key elements and snappy bits that I wanted to include--maybe. After that, I started writing and added 550 words. The grand thing about this 550 words is that it effectively gets across information that was formerly about 2000 words. Very exciting.
I didn't get done as much as I would have liked to today. I got very little sleep last night. Around lunchtime today, I realized that I'm sick. Nothing too gross, just enough to make me drowsy and woozily. I didn't cut out early, but neither did I blaze through things as I'd anticipated after yesterday's big huzzah.
But while my woozily mind drifted today, I thought about how excited I am for the next project (I won't go into the specifics) and I realized that this is a really good thing about me, as a writer: I never lack for projects. I always have at least one waiting for when the current WIP is totally finished. Actually, I have two totally planned out projects, and other two outlines I'm toying with. I may be wordy. I may overwrite. I may go off on tangents that result in deleting 30K words, but I never lack for projects.
We are always ready to bemoan our weaknesses as writers, but rarely do any of us say, "I do THIS really well." So I'm asking, oh writerly friends, what is YOUR best quality as a writer? Come on. Don't be modest. This is your sanctioned chance to crow!
Yes, friends, I actually got it BELOW my hoped for word count. How is this so, you ask? I'll tell you--the last 50-ish pages were complete and utter CRAP! So I ditched them. All of them. And that is how I got it below my hoped-for word count; and that is why it's not permanent.
This week has been a terrible writing week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday--all but an hour here or there sacrificed to fun but unwriterly pursuits. It happens. But without that interuption, I might have indulged in some hand-wavery rather than figured this out.
All the elements I need are in those pages alongside the crap. At VP(X), the one and only Cory D. horrified us all by telling us that he wrote a first draft, deleted it, then wrote the second draft from memory. In this way, the elements important enough to remember got in, the rest--bye-bye. And while I'm not brave enough to totally delete all those pages, I have deleted them from the file I'm working from. Tomorrow--though it's Friday--I'll start the ending from scratch.
Happily, I now have about 6,000 words to play with, to make the ending what it should be. I might actually get this draft in at 125K!
First draft clocked in at 159,992 words.
Second draft stands now at 136,897 words.
That's 6,788 words cut since last WCF, and 23,095 overall. I've 82 pages left in the draft to revise/cut/slash/otherwise maim. Can I cut another 11K words from 82 pages? I'm kinda doubting it, friends. Can I cut 6K? Quite possibly. The other 5K will probably have to wait to be sacrificed in draft three.
Next week should see the end of draft two. At that point, I usually print up and hard copy edit. This time, I think I'll give it one more pass in some attempt to skim off stuff I thought about skimming on this pass, but left in with the hopes of keeping it. I am not printing up a hard copy until I've got this sucker in at least NEAR that 125K mark!
(I know--even that is the far edge of acceptable, wordcountwise. But I can't perform miracles!)
PS: I made myself cry. I figured that was a good place to stop for the day. :)
(I forgot to get a page count.)
I wanted to get to 18K today, but the baby called. She's coming home. Then she's not coming home. Now she is coming home, but maybe she's not. Sigh--gotta be preparred with yummy mom-cooking in the event she is. Chicken piccata, coming up.
First draft clocked in at 159,992 words.
Second draft currently stands at 155,725.
I am on page 70. I have cut 4,267 words. Only about 25K to go!
I love the edits. All I'm leaving behind is the padding I didn't need, not story being sacrificed to the writing gods. It's a lot cleaner (thus far) and I'm quite pleased.
I did go back to page one and start over again, because I was not pleased with the opening scene. I wrote an entirely new scene and I think I nailed it now, but it meant continuing on from page one to make the necessary changes to the rest of the story. It's amazing, once you start really pulling out the padding how much easier it becomes to hit that delete key!
I ended today where I'd left off before going back to tackle the opening scene. Monday--onward!