November is National Novel-Writing Month, a month when crazily dedicated people who write far more quickly than I pledge themselves to completing a novel of at least 50,000 words. I make no such claims. But, I did write 10,386 words this month, which is pretty darn good for me. And, I'VE FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY NOVEL!
In the summer of 2007, I realized that the short story I was working on really wanted to be a novel. Crazy. I was pursuing a degree in poetry. But there Renata was, fairly fully formed and talking and waiting for me to write it down. From the start, I've figured I was on the 5-year plan. I wrote two-and-a-half chapters in the fall semester, then took a break that spring to write my thesis and get married, but I've been working regularly on it since August of 2008. It was my 2009 New Year's Resolution to complete a draft by the end of the year. Today, the last day of November, I wrote the last scene, linking (I hope) all the pieces together. It's rough in places, and in the second draft I'm going to be combining some of the characters and selling off their scenes to others. Dear Guisy, Renata's innocent, homely choir partner who wants to be a nun when she grows up, is getting written out, as is her rebellious older sister. Tired Sister Maria Clara and her nursury will both be gone. Too many characters. It does feel a bit like I'm shoveling them under. Sigh.
But that's for tomorrow, when I copy into a new document and label it Draft 2. Right now, I'm done! I've written 286 pages. I'm flying high...which is a bit unfortunate since it's nearly 10:30 PM and I have to get up tomorrow at 6. But nevermind that. Woo hoo!