So yesterday 5K words slid out of my head, whole and bloody, and the zero draft of The Iron Plague (also known as “that trailer-park elf book”) is finished. This is a cause for celebration, yes, because this book has been in my head for years (ever since my writing partner told me about a dream her spouse had) and now it’s out.
But I’m not done yet.
My NaNo goal this year is to get Iron Plague into first-draft shape by December 1. Which means that the manuscript, which currently stands at around 51K, will probably grow to about 60K. I know where most of the growth needs to come in, too. I work fast, loose, and hot on the zero draft, getting the corpse of the story out onto the table and ready to be prettified. It’s very, very rare that I let anyone see a zero draft; the work can still be killed at that point. Which is, incidentally, part of why I don’t work well with others; the chill of another gaze can blast a tender young shoot of a book into a blackened stub. I know it’s probably Preshus and Speshul of me, but it’s how I work.
Anyway, the zero draft has to lie fallow for a little bit now–probably around a week, while I finish copyedits on The Ripper Affair, the third Bannon & Clare. Then it’s back to Jeremy Gallow and Robin Ragged–longtime readers will probably remember early versions of them in the Courts of the Fey anthology–and once that’s a reasonable first draft, I send Iron Plague off to my lovely agent and go straight into revisions for Ruby’s story, the final Tale of Beauty & Madness.
Finishing the damn novel is just the first step. It’s a lulu of a step, don’t get me wrong, and should be celebrated. But afterward another long slog begins.
It makes me tired just thinking about it today, which is why there’s no Friday photo. My brain pretty much feels like it’s been pummeled by a very enthusiastic boxer, and I’m stuck in the “fire bad, tree pretty” phase that happens after I finish a zero draft. So…off I go, to finish the rest of my morning and stretch out my tired fingers. (The new keyboard, by the way, has held up splendidly under these past few days.)
Over and out.