Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Story of Draft 5

So I finished up. Just last night at about midnight I merged all my chapters into one big manuscript(thanks, Scrivener) and sent it on over to Word to format. I came up with a title finally: Assignment 7: Abandon Hope and that last thing I needed for the end came together. Than I crawled into bed with a splitting headache and woke up this morning with a full-on cold, my nose running like a faucet. It was singularly anticlimactic.

I am calling this version Draft 5. But the only other draft I wrote all the way to the end was draft zero as I learned to call it from Justine Larbalestier. And it was truly a zero, horrible thing. But essentially it built my story and from that came my plot. My second draft only made it half way through. At the time I had some kind of meta narrator who was super self-conscious and a little bit of a pain. I didn't have the skills to pull it off. So I started draft three in the first person. Actually I did the first chapter both in first and third to try it out (third sans annoying narrator). And I chose fist person. That time I got over halfway through and I met my writing partner Andy. Together we started over and gave him Draft 4 a little chunk at a time. He was there with me, holding my hand(not literally) through the worst. Finally the book started to get better. (Thanks, Andy.) For Draft 5, I cut the first two chapters, totally rebuilt the middle, rewrote the new first chapter twice and weaved in all the threads(I hopei. Wrote a new first page several times. Fixed Mother who was a wreak. Fixed Duane and Dwight,for that matter, and as long as I'm making the list, I hope I fixed Heather. Now I'm here, ready to give it away whole. This will be the first time anyone reads a viable version of this book. And I expect that there will still be a lot left to fix. So, alas, no fanfare, no fireworks or champagne. But it is nice to sit on the couch and blog, while just real messy life waits, without messy novel life hanging over my head.

I want to welcome Paul as a follower PMM style. Thanks for signing up! He has a blog with beautiful pictures. A great moose sighting(those don't happen here in Minneapolis) and great writing advice. I went to his blog just now for the URL and it was titled momentum. That word came up in the final edits of my final chapter last night. It was a part of a phrase that I had written early in the writing of the book but it had never made the way in. I discovered I was writing toward it. Process is a crazy thing.

I love thinking about momentum as a writing term. There is power in a moving object!

As Always(but today I will sit still),