It took less than a year.
Yeah, okay, that’s longer than I wanted it to take, but I set unrealistic goals for myself. I’m going to let myself off the hook, which is a big deal for me. A monumental feat of self-forgiveness, in fact. The point is, it look less than a year, and I couldn’t be happier.
Sorry, I’m being vague. It’s Sunday night and I’m a little drunk on sparkling wine. I’m celebrating.
Why? Because the first draft of Mimesis, my next novel, is FINISHED!
I’ve been a bit absent from this blog for the past few months. That’s happened before, but usually because I was blowing off and playing video games. Not this time. I’ve had my head down, and I’ve put almost every free minute of my life into writing. I spent half of my vacation to Disney World writing (and the other half doing that half-marathon thing). I spent all of Thanksgiving weekend writing. I even spent most of my birthday writing. I needed to prove to myself that I could do it. That if I had to, if I had a goal that meant enough to me, I could give it everything I had for as long as I needed.
How did I do? Let’s talk numbers. (Don’t worry, number haters. The math will be easy and it won’t take long.)
I started Mimesis in a hotel on February 3rd, 2012. By June, I’d written about a third of it, but took a break until October to work on other projects. It was at the end of October that I decided to get serious. At that point, I’d written 37,500 words. The finished first draft stands at 95,000 words, which is about 250 paperback pages. Thus: three months, 57,500 words.
That means I wrote 60% of Mimesis in three months. Hell, Broken Magic is only 68,000 words, and it took me almost two years to finish that.
The last three months have been the most consistent and serious writing I’ve done in my life. Ever. I did something I’d always struggled with and focused everything I had one on project until it was done. This was, shall we say, a watershed moment for me. I’m…well, hell, I’m actually proud of myself. When I finished Broken Magic, I came away knowing I could write a novel. Today? I know I can write one consistently.
I might not have any friends left after blowing off all the socializing (you think I jest?), and my house might be a mess, and I might have eaten enough junk food to guarantee myself arterial angioplasty…but I can do it.
What next? First, I’m taking a break. I need one. Second, I’ll write Something Else — probably something short — both to have some fun and give myself some distance from this monster. Then, and only then, I’ll go back to Mimesis and read it from start to finish, figure out what needs to change, and write a second draft. After that, I’ll send it out to a few readers, get their feedback, and do a third draft.
Then we’ll see. Hopefully by then it’ll be ready to query. If querying agents with it is my plan. That’s still up in the air.
Do I have a deadline? Eh, maybe, but I’ll keep that to myself for now. I don’t want to think about deadlines. I want to drink some more wine.