Yesterday, I accomplished my one big goal for 2013. The first draft of my book is complete.
After a year and a half of thinking, plotting, and planning, and six weeks of daily writing, it was surreal to reach the last page, and even stranger to print out the manuscript - 256 pages in all. Technically, I still have two important scenes to write - they'll each require a few hours of research, so right now they're just summarized in the manuscript - but for now, I consider draft number one in the bag.
Holy shit, y'all. Ho. Ly. Shit.
Of course, all this means is that the real work is about to begin. My draft is... okay. It has potential. It is a good representation of the story I set out to tell. But it's not done, not even close. There were points while I was writing that I thought, "Oh, this character is very flat. I'll have to fix that in the second draft." Or, "Hey, this character is more important than I thought! She'll need more scenes earlier in the book." I'm also on the fence about the ending, but I hope that after sitting down and reading the whole thing from start to finish, I'll understand how to best tie things up. For now, though, I'm taking a break. Putting the draft in a drawer (or, you know, leaving it on my desk, so I can gaze at it with a mixture of awe and pride, whatever the case may be). Picking up other projects - half finished essays, stories that need another round of revision and submission, a few prose poems that have been knocking around in my head. I'm not sure how much time I'll take - maybe two weeks, maybe a month - but when I come back, it will be with teeth bared and red pen brandished. Revision, y'all. It's where the magic happens.
For now, I will eat cupcakes and celebrate and enjoy this accomplishment. I've never written a book before. It's a good feeling.