It happened. I finished the first draft of Magpie. Write-a-thon goal achieved. It’s short — just over 50,000 words — but the story’s all there.
What mattered most to me in writing this draft was developing the story. This is the fourth first draft of a novel I’ve written. It’s by far the most promising. I have a tendency to start strong, get lost in the middle, and then tack on some weak ending with the intention of fixing it later. Usually, my first drafts are not finished so much as abandoned in exhaustion. I end up dreading the revision process because I know how much work I’ve left myself.
This time, there’s still work to do, but it doesn’t scare me. I’ve built something I’m excited about. This one I believe in.
Of my three previous novels, two ended up tucked away in a drawer. I never figured out how to fix them. One I sent around to agents but in time I came to realize that it wasn’t quite there yet, and that I didn’t quite know how to get it there.
This one’s different. I know it already. I’m certain, too, that this novel is better in large part because of what I learned last summer at the Clarion West Writers Workshop.
During the write-a-thon I raised $213.55 for Clarion West and I wrote 28,255 words. To celebrate, I got on a bus and joined 11 of my classmates in Seattle for one short, giddy beautiful night. There was wine and there was singing. There were rocketship sashes. I remembered how extraordinary my classmates are and how lucky I am to call them friends. And I remembered how lucky I am to be a part of this community.
Thanks to everyone who supported me through the write-a-thon, through donations or through encouraging words. It means a lot.