Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Bittersweet Victory...

As of 5:14 p.m. Atlantic Time on October 19, 2012, I did something that a year ago, I never thought I would accomplish...
I typed in "THE END" in NR's First Draft file. 
It's official: I have completed draft 1 of my first full length manuscript!!!
I had three full writing days this past week... Wednesday saw me diving into NR the instant Hubby was out of the driveway for work, Thursday it was pretty much the instant Son was on the bus and although I stayed online for an extra hour, I was into it again for the entire day, determined to get as much done as I could.
It has been one HECK of a roller coaster ride with the last few chapters of NR, both for the characters and myself. Chapters 41 through 46 go from highs to lows so fast that one's eyes may cross if they're not paying attention. Heck my eyes were crossed with all the twists and turns in the final few chapters of the story!
Well, the build up to the finale was interesting to write... I had to show a few things that were leading up to it, in some cases very slowly and the intensity of some of those scenes knocked me for a loop!
The finale was written up yesterday and while I was writing that up *SNIFF!* I thought about how I could tie up ONE last loose end that was mentioned in the first half of the story, in the final chapter or the epilogue. As I read over the last few chapters the idea came to me and even though Son was home from school, I plugged away at it until I had the rough draft written up.
At 5:14 p.m. Atlantic Time on October 19, 2012, I typed in "THE END" and hit save... Then let out a HUGE scream of VICTORY! I had completed my first draft of my VERY first full length manuscript!
It still hasn't sunk in yet and it feels weird to see "THE END" at the end of it... I keep thinking I should be writing and then I'll remember the writing part of it is done and I am now in the process of editing, proofing and formatting it.
Part 1 of the story had gone into "DRAFT 2 MODE" a couple of weeks ago but now the entire manuscript is in it. Draft 1's folders and files are now moved into a special place on the hard drive for "Completed Manuscripts, Draft 1" and it's off the desktop. NR's Draft 2 file and folder is now there in its place and it feels very weird to look at the file without seeing all of the ideas files, my original notes files and everything else... Only Draft 2's file is in there. It looks so bare! LOL
The fun part of it has begun... I have started the formatting by changing the font from Verdana size 10 to Times New Roman size 12 (the preferred font and size for publishers) and removed ALL spaces from between paragraphs (minus what I worked on this week, I'll do that later today) and put indents in so I know where each paragraph begins and ends. The verb tense correction has been started, I'm in Chapter 5 at the moment, and I'll soon be setting it aside to "perk" for a while... I'm not sure what I'll be doing next but I'll see. I have RH and Untitled #6 to work on but I'm not sure if I can dive into them just yet. NR is still somewhat in the brain and I see there are a few spots that are a little "bare" that I may add to. 
As the title of this entry says, the victory is bittersweet for me. I'm happy I finally finished getting the characters' story down but at the same time, it was very sad to say goodbye to them and their story. I've lived with them in my head for the last year or so and now that it's done, they're fading away a little bit and my head is starting to feel "empty". 
There are two characters from this story that I may write about so I may not have to say goodbye to the main characters of NR fully... I had a suggestion from a few friends and my mentor that if there is another single character from NR I could write about, see about doing it. 
I'm not sure if I will or not. NR itself is still too fresh in the mind for me to think about starting anything new at the moment. A series isn't what I had planned to do when NR was first conceived, nor was it planned to be one at all even recently. I'll think on it more after NR starts to fade from my mind a little. We'll have to see I guess. Anything is possible after all! LOL 
So now the fun has started and I'm determined to get NR fully edited, proofed, formatted and done PERFECTLY to send off to publishers. I'd like to start sending it out within a year if I can do it. I also need someone else to look at it for me to see what I missed. I have a few friends who would be happy to do that and I'm going to take one of them up on their offer... And I know exactly who would be perfect for it. I also know that my beloved mentor will be getting a prescreening copy of it, because I know she'll give me an honest opinion on the story and she'll find out a little bit of what life is like over here along the rugged Atlantic shores of Nova Scotia.
I'd like to thank everyone who has helped me out with the first draft of NR so far... Everyone who has read excerpts and gave me some constructive criticism, gave me a shot of positive slaps of "you CAN write" when I needed them, anyone who helped me with research and everything else.
I will be updating the blog as things happen but probably not as much as I was while I was writing draft 1 of NR. I'm going to be very busy while I'm getting that ready to send out to publishers and helping my mentor with some projects in Sanctuary and with her own writing and books. I also have to get an original picture made for the "cover pic" on my author page in FB, along with a new and original avatar and maybe even design a cover for NR if I decide to go the self publishing route.
It's been a VERY long, intense, sometimes scary, sometimes happy roller coaster ride the last year or so that I've worked on NR, but you know, looking back... It wasn't so bad most of the time. Once I had gotten rid of the "middle part" (The MMG/interlude file) and changed how things moved forward from chapter 4 on (I did a rewrite back in March for it! LOL), things snowballed and the next thing I knew, I was buried in the twists, turns, ups and downs and loopidy loops of this story... I never thought it would turn out to be more than just a simple love story when I first came up with its idea back in June of 2010... I thought it would be worthy of just a "romance" but it turned into a journey... Not just for the characters, but for myself as well.
It still hasn't sunk in yet. LOL
Have a great weekend everyone! 

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