Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finishing lines

Today, I have a hangover and no guilt.  Yesterday, I wrote a scene and quite unexpectedly, realised that was it: that was where this story was going to be left.  The first draft is finished.

I should be quite pleased with myself.  Intuition tells me I should even be slightly ecstatic, but I'm neither of those things.  What I am, actually is:
  1. Aware of just how many holes there are in this draft: characters who have changed in the writing, sacred objects that have been unused, others that have appeared from nowhere, motivations missing and backstories lacking.
  2. Ever so slightly (all right, that's a downright lie...make it completely and utterly) grateful that today and tomorrow, I don't have to get up to wrestle with J. and M. and D.  That they can be best served by parking them in a drawer for a month, and thinking about something else.
  3. Desperate to pick up all the strands of my life I've dropped during the writing of this, and
  4. So this isn't wholly negative, I'm also confident that this is something I can pick up again after the school holidays, and more crucially - I also reasonably confident that I'm going to want to.  Just because the writing doesn't sizzle and crackle off every one of these damn pages right now doesn't mean it doesn't, or won't.  Familiarity breeds contempt, and sometimes it's hard to see the good in my own work when I've been staring at it for this long.  Logic tells me there's some good stuff in here.
So right now I've backed everything up to every flash drive I own, and an internet space too.  Confident in the knowledge I'm not about to lose it, I intend to forget about Dark Milk completely for the next two months.  And although large parts of me are fed up to the back teeth with it, there's another deeper part of me that can't wait until the first day the kids go back to school, the kettle boils, and I slip back up to the sleep-out.  I know that tired old threads will seem brand new, and the game begins again.


Melissa Donovan said...

Congratulations on getting through the first draft! I think your plan is good - wait two months and then start revising. I bet you'll find the manuscript has a lot of good stuff in it once you've removed that sense of familiarity. Good luck!

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