Monday, December 13, 2010

Completing a manuscript

So. . . . on Saturday around 4:30 p.m., about a month or maybe even a year late, I finished the first draft of my new manuscript, tentatively titled, In Flight, and  very tentatively, because while I was writing the book another book with that title was published.  So it goes.

Weeks ago my writing group said the thrilling conclusion was weak, which meant the main character had to get herself out of her predicament  by herself, and the only way she could do that (that I could see) was to shootl the bad guy.  Which she did.  Of course he was coming after her with a knife, yada, yada.  But that one act changed the whole tenor and feel of the story.  Which meant:

I had to create yet a third point of view to do a much darker ending

Rewrite a bunch of scenes from that point of view
Retrofit everything
Then write the ending

I was busier  than a one-armed paper hanger and I kind of felt like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.  Aren't old sayings fun?

Anyway, I persevered, and now the manuscript is ready for rewriting.  Writing is rewriting.   I have exceeded any reasonable word count and I need to cut and pare like crazy.   Started in on that last night, one day after finishing.  Found a bunch of useless words and they will soon be gone.  I usually know the beginning and ending of the book and maybe a few scenes in the middle.   Actually, with this book I winged it because the character came and sat on my shoulder and began to tell me her story.  Then she stopped, and I had to figure out the rest of it.  I only knew what she told me.  How weird is that?

So the ending was half-sad, half-happy.  There is still much work to be done. And my published novel won't be available  on Kindle for Christmas, nope that ball was dropped.   Oh well.  

Tomorrow I'll bake something and go for a walk, and post the recipe for those yummy apricot bars I've been bragging about.  There's always food to savor.  And words to pare.  What will I think of now when I awaken in the middle of the night?  For two years I been figuring out the plot.  Now?  Maybe plot points for the next book.  Become a plotter instead of a pantser (seat of the pants).   How do you like them apples?

Grapeshot

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