This week, something magical happened. I put a full stop (or as the Americans call it, a period) at the end of a sentence. It was full of suspense, and meaning, but it was only one little full stop. Why then was it magical?
Because it was a full stop that I’d put at the end of 114,916 words. It marked the end of draft one of the book I’ve been working on for too long. It was meant to take me one year, but I signed on to help write another manuscript (which was the most amazing experience for a number of other reasons). I very quickly discovered that I’m not the kind of person who can write two manuscripts at once.
Hence, it took me a year and a half. AKA forever! The sequel will hopefully only take me 6 months. Hopefully. Hopefully. Hopefully.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered what its like at the end of draft one. In a word – its weird.
I told myself I’d take a week off, read other young adult fiction and revel in the fact that I don’t have to be creating for 3 hours every day. I was going to not think about my manuscript at all. I was going to give myself space to breathe, to dream about the sequel, and to generally live it up while being a girl without a project.
Yeah, that didn’t really happen. Here are these stats:
– 1 day: the time it took for me to start trying to actively plot the sequel.
– 15 minutes: the time it took for my editor to tell me “You are writing book 2 here. You aren’t writing book one again. Its time to think differently.”
– 2 days: the time it took me to start feeling serious withdrawals from writing
– 3 days: the time it took me to decide to write some short fiction to tide me over
I’m hopeless. So much for a week off! Here’s the thing though, as important as the pallet-cleansing break between drafts is, developing skills as a writer is never time wasted.
Hence, I’m enforcing my week off the book. Its weird, here at the end of draft 1. I know its important to let the manuscript sit and decant while I give myself space so I can come back and see it clearly, but the truth is I really miss my characters.
How sad is that.