We both write long, and we both take a long time to finish. Here I am, pondering the complete first draft of The Reefs of Time. 900-ish pages. Can you see the wheels going in my head, fixing all the things that didn’t come out quite right the first time around?
Great news! I’ve met my do-or-die goal of having the first draft of The Reefs of Time finished before Christmas Eve! Last night at around 3 a.m., I typed the fateful words:
and heaved an enormous sigh of relief. Because that, of course, is another way of saying, The End! What a feeling. I’ve been working on this thing for a little over five years, and it’s just about caused me to lose all my remaining hair. But I feel really good about what I’ve got now (as a first draft!), and eagerly look forward to starting the rewrite in the new year. It’s a sprawling, complicated story, and I know there are pieces missing, and a lot of other sections that will be mercilessly cut, and a lot to be completely reworked. But that’s all stuff I know how to do. It was getting the basic story down that threatened to send me around the bend. For those who are counting, it’s just over 900 pages in manuscript, or somewhere around 220,000 words. (I think my writing group had a poll going on the final length, but I don’t know if anyone remembers who bet what.)
I hope my agent and publisher will be glad to hear this, as well! They’ve been incredibly patient, and all I can say is, If I could have done it faster, I would have.
Even a crashed car isn’t going to take this good feeling away.
Thank you, God, and thank you, everyone who has been waiting and periodically nudging.I think I’m going to enjoy a really good beer tonight, and focus on getting ready for Christmas.
That’s The Reefs of Time, all right! Thrilling action, endearing characters, lively wit, and heart-rending trials. Plus, the whole galaxy at stake.
Okay, I lied a little. The book will have all those things, but it bears no resemblance whatever to either The Avengers or The Hunger Games. (Both of which I liked, by the way.)
I am so close to finishing the first draft of this sprawling adventure that it is my hope and prayer that I will finish the first draft before Christmas. Actually, before Christmas Eve. The first draft. I have another chapter, maybe two, to write. Pray for me!
Why am I telling you about it now, instead of just doing it? Partly as a warmup. And because I want to put it out there that this is what I’m aiming for—like President Kennedy, calling for a moon landing before the decade (1960s) was out. And because so many of you, from time to time, gently ask me how the book is going, and will you have a chance to read it while you’re still alive. Here’s my answer: Yes!
Also, I just like to say, “The Avengers meets The Hunger Games.”