February 1st, 2003

bear by san

The draft is done. Long live the draft.

349 pages. Call it 90K words. Down from 386 pages. My shoulders are killing me, but I'm grinning like an idiot. I think the book is better now, but the important part is this: the ending still makes me cry.

Now, to understand how important that is, my all time favourite book is Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn. A sweet, simple, layered, beautifully written little story that I am not allowed to read in public because it makes me bawl. That's a good fifty percent of my definition of a good book: if it makes me bawl. (Please note, there are books that make me cry that are not good books. I'm a sucker for sad animal stories. WAAAAAAAAH!) Kay's Fionavar books, too. I can reread those a thousand times, and cry, and cry, and cry.

Very therapeutic.

The other fifty percent of my definition is that it makes me think. And there's fifty percent for gorgeous drop-dead writing in there too. And maybe fifty for a scintillating plot. But you know. I failed math.

The reason I'm grinning like an idiot is this: I have five novels done. One in a pretty good second draft, three in third draft, and this one in about draft five and getting closer, I think, to the point where if I fiddle with it much more it won't be quite the same book. I think it still has some freshman mistakes in it... but at least the language is tighter now, and I think the plot arc is too. And I still like the story. So I'm a pretty happy girl.

Tomorrow I send Jenn Hammered, and I start my research for The Stratford man.. Tonight, I sleep.
  • Current Music
    Tori Amos - Playboy Mommy
bear by san

There's a plain white box in my living room.

It's two and a half inches tall, eight and three-quarters inches wide, and eleven and a quarter inches long. Inside of it is nearly a full ream of paper and most of a black ink cartridge. It has my address in the corner and Jenn's address in the middle, and tomorrow it goes out in quest of a home and people who will love it and raise it up right.

Since January first I've revised three novel-length manuscripts, and now I'm sending one of them out into the world. I have two current projects clamoring for my attention, and mostly what I feel (between pokes from the guilt monkey) is like my head has been scoured out with brillo pads. If the damned guilt monkey would leave me alone, I might get some rest.

I am starting to feel like a real writer, I think. Which is scary. Because in the living room there's a plain white manuscript box that I kinda feel has "here's the very best I can do," in it.

It's intimidating.
  • Current Music
    Steeleye Span - John of Ditchford