I'd like to officially record that May 6th at 9:30pm I saved and closed my laptop on a finished draft of Threadcaster. It's the first time in the history the story has existed in prose in a completed form.
It took me all day, but my good buddy Kathleen was there to give me support. She and I hit up Wired Coffee on Lindbergh from about 2 to close... I ran out of tea, battery and open hours at Wired all about the same time so she agreed to come with me over to Breadco so I could keep my head of steam. I was in the middle of a big emotional scene... my heart was just pounding.
We settled in from 6-9:30 while I forged on, pounding out all the scenes i've been playing over and over in my head. Like a doctor I gave the official announcement: 323 pages, 140783 words. Then Kathleen and I went to Cold Stone and got icecream.
Post-Mortem is kind of moot since I've still got a lot of work left to do on it, but I should give a report of my emotions and feelings and etc on this historic day... I'm proud and kind of drained, but I feel good. I think the ending is good, but I know it needs some work. I've written the thing three times in different places, every time second-guessing it. It was either too sappy or too complicated or just plain too long. This one has some great ideas in it and I think it's pretty powerful - I mean it got me going. you really get thrown on your ear there for a while and I hope everyone will be satisfied. I built a lot of layers of symbolism and stuff into it and tried to make it all pay off. I've got some stuff to weave back through the rest of it to give it stronger legs, but there's a time for that.
What really concerns me is the kinda tolkienesque rambling series of endings I lined up. I have certain things I want to hit - for non-spoilery examples say I want to make sure I tell you if THESE characters survived, where THESE people went, who THIS person is... and when I was drafting tonight I kinda breezed through it all in a desperate sprint to the finish. It's like going down the hill on a bike... once you get at a certain speed stuff starts feeling dangerous. You either keep riding with the momentum and hope you don't crash, or break and take jerking motions until you reach the bottom. I went for the momentum approach just because I was so desperate to declare the thing done. I have a LOT of writing left to do in the form of revision and editing (I'm actually doing some right now... just of the ending bit not back to the beginning. I had a thought about how to improve one of the rambles) First step though, I think I'm going to take Kathleen's advice and read through the thing without worrying just to get the pacing down. I'll probably try and read it aloud to myself to see how it flows and take notes on parts I feel are unnecessary or broken. Then I'll give it the refinement pass and pass it out to my beta readers... while working on Ghosts of Whitehall I suppose, or prepping the good parts for my Kristin Nelson pass (aka the "People don't actually growl and stop telling me she's sad" pass).
I'll start all that good stuff tomorrow. For now I'm going to fix/ finish my grand Cast photo and go rummaging through all my old plotting notes to compare and see what's changed. Maybe I'll do a side by side comparison entry when I'm done... that would be a lot of fun I think!
Anyway, the completion of the rough draft officially marks this: May 6th as Cat's canon birthday. That way I can celebrate yearly.
Love you all, thanks for supporting me in this. I'm gonna delete some fluff and go try and sleep off my separation anxiety. :)