YES—I completed the first draft of THE RIVER’S EDGE!
*confetti* Okay, here’s a quick breakdown of stats to satisfy my inner geeky mathematician (which is weak compared to my other geeky personas). The first draft process spanned 59 days… but I only wrote on 41 of those days. I lost three days to sickness, but the main distractions occurred when I attended QCCWC one weekend, took a vacation the following weekend, and hosted Easter last weekend. I just didn’t have the time or energy to finish my last chapter! It would’ve been so nice if I’d finished before the conference, but I couldn’t quite manage it. This week, while Son was at preschool, I finally made it to the end. Even though I knew what would happen in the last chapter, I’m glad I forced myself to write it out; as usual, it changed slightly in the journey from brain to computer. Now I’ll have that ending as a reference during the second draft.
If I just count those 41 writing days (which may be cheating, but who cares), I know from my 80,364-word total that I averaged 1960 words a day. My goal back in February was to average 1900 words a day, so YAY for kind of meeting one of my goals!
The word counts were just one aspect of the main goal: to write a second novel. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, prove that EOL wasn’t a fluke. And write not just any second novel—a better novel than my first one. And that’s what I’m happiest about, because it is better. No brag, just fact. I learned so much in the process of writing the first one, so I applied all that information to the second one. I won’t know for sure until my critique partners read it, but I think I improved my plotting and pacing. I managed to stay close to my outline and not go way over my projected word count, the way I did with EOL. When I start my third novel (though not any time soon!), I already have ideas to further improve my first draft process. Each book is different of course, but I hope I can continue to grow and learn as a writer.
So, what next? After I finish a draft, I always try to take a break from it; it helps me to refresh my brain. That way I’ll have the appropriate amount of distance and perspective when I return to it. My break this time won’t be as long as I’d like—probably two weeks at the most. Son’s preschool ends May 21st, so I have to take advantage of that writing time before it’s gone! My tentative goal right now is to finish the second draft by the end of June. Then, if all goes well, I’ll send it to critique partners in July.
During my two-week “break” (insert sarcasm here), I have to do some follow-up research and reading. I’m also working on some new changes to the website. I’m hoping to finish updates by the end of next week, and then I’ll explain the reasoning behind it all. I have a new direction and lots of ideas, so I’m excited to see how it turns out!
As part of my new direction, I now have a professional Facebook page (see link in right-hand margin). I’ve had a personal account for awhile, but it’s mainly for sharing pictures with my family. My new account is under the name “Erin Rowan,” and it will only have writing-related stuff. Actually, the content will be similar to this blog… but in a condensed form. So it’s like a sneak peek of my latest post, and then you can decide if you want to come here and read the rest of the post. Or if I come across helpful links or writing biz, I’ll copy those to my Facebook too. If you’re interested, send me a friend request!
Warning: I don’t usually respond to applications; they unnerve me. Don’t get me wrong—I’d love to proclaim to the world that you are my Best Friend, or Relative, or Top Girl, or whatever you are. But if I accept your invitation, then it sucks info from my profile… and I don’t exactly understand where that info goes. Plus, then I have to go through my list and label all my Best Friends, Relatives, and Top Girls. I know Facebook is designed to be a major time-suck, but I really want to avoid the black hole. Which is also why I don’t respond to game invitations, etc. Please don’t be offended; I ignore everyone equally. But I do try to read updates and keep up with the news feed. If you have any questions about my Facebook, let me know!
What a crazy week; my dragging feet burned holes in my socks. But it’s been a productive week, so I feel very blessed. Anyone else have news or accomplishments to share?? Have a fabulous weekend!