Goals check-in (September 1 goal): we have a draft!

Well, I’ve met part of my goal for September 1 (see last post): the superhero romance is in raw draft, at 33,000 words. I took off some vacation days from Ye Olde Day Jobbe to do that (what better use for vacation?) and banged out 4000 words a day the last two days for the “last finishing bits” and then assembled all of the scenes into a more-or-less finished draft, took out the worst of the typos and removed the date-stamps, and sent it off to my generous Brain Sister and Writing Buddy who has offered to beta-read it for me as well close in on the final deadline.

Meanwhile, I’m writing this on a break from marking the scenes and figuring out the arc so I can find where another 1500-3000 words can be cut. The call was for a 25,000-30,000 word manuscript, and my raw draft weighed in at 33,000 words, which gives me room to cut 10% and remove any loose trailing bits that I decide aren’t relevant to the story.

It’s also a nice moment in which to take a pause and consider what I just did, and how.

The timeline:

I got the notion to follow up on the romance call sometime in early July, but I had two other projects going at that time, so I decided to cut it close and make this my August MiniNaNo project.

Let me correct. It’s really cutting it close. I set myself the original plan of doing a “lost weekend” MiniNaNo and producing 30,000 words in three days. I’ve had 10,000-word days before; unfortunately, that only happens when I have a story chomping at the bit. I got something of a running start, and then had to slow down to give my dreaming brain time to catch up.

Starting on August 5, I pledged to write as much as possible every day, and made time for it. I generally got in a good half an hour in the morning, an hour at lunch and an hour in the evening. When I got completely stuck, I sat down and free-wrote about plotting, specifically what sorts of scenes might be cool or funny. I definitely set out to write something that was comic, with a serious edge (after all, we’re talking race, class, the nerds versus the cool kids, not to mention the nature of heroism). In the spirit of NaNoWriMo, I pushed onward whether it seemed to make any sense or not.

To my amazement, when I stuck the pieces together late last night and then read the result this morning, it actually did make sense.

I’m glad I sent it off to my beta reader before I lost my nerve. I promised it to her by midnight last night, and delivered it at 1:50 a.m. While she’s reading it (and hopefully having a good time), I’m going to get out the Big Knife and start carving like it’s holiday time.

Next post after Six Sentence Sunday: the Secret Family Recipe for this novel, or how to make soup out of random leftovers.

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