I've been writing my butt off for the last five days straight and now I'm finally done.
You see, June 30th (tonight) was my deadline for completing my final draft of Dreaming Creek. I won't bore you with the innumerable trials and tribulations, but it's done. I'm exhausted but elated. What was an 81,700 word draft two weeks ago had (best guess) about 1000 extraneous words cut, yet the final draft that I'll turn in to my editor is approx. 88,500 words long. So I've written nearly 8,000 new words, mostly since last Thursday.
I finished final edits/rewrites on Part Five today (all 160 pages of it), although like Part Four, it wasn't as onerous as some of the earlier parts. I think this is partly because I had done some work on them previously (when I should have been working on Parts 1 - 3 but couldn't bring myself to look at them because they were such a mess), and partly because by time I had gotten to the end (when I was doing my first draft) I was simply a better writer with a better handle on the novel form. (I started out writing short stories. You should have seen my very first draft; the early parts read like so many short stories strung together. And my handling of POV was atrocious. I got my first serious lesson on POV from OSC's Boot Camp and had a lot more work to do to fix the POV problems in the early parts.)
The story's plot is the same as what I started with, but I think the storytelling is much better. I have learned so much in the past few years, and with all the work I do as an editor these days, it was a pleasure to finally apply it to my own work.
Anyway, that's about all for now. Frankly, it's all I have the energy for. But I had to share. I'm done, I'm thrilled, I'm turning it in tonight.
Did I mention that I'm exhausted but elated?BTW, before I go, I have to give a huge shout-out of thanks to Gray Rinehart, a friend and assistant editor over at Baen Books. Although Dreaming Creek is not a Baen kind of book at all, he has taken his free time to help me proof the MS. He caught more typos that I thought could possibly exist in a single manuscript and made some suggestions that really added to the overall story. Thank you, thank you, thank you.