Good evening all!
Last night I managed to do something a lot of writers don't: I got to the end of my story. I finished, finally, the first actual start to finish draft of "Fresh Ice." In spite of my best efforts to write this one quickly (you know, in under a year) it took me almost two years to get to this point simply because the story I finished is NOT the story I started.
The story I started was about a suburban woman who goes to a Renaissance Faire, shares surprise kiss with a performer, and falls in love with him after her horrible husband dies in a very strange auto shop accident. I was going to call it "7/8s Time."
Well, the name stayed the same, but everything else managed to change.
What I wound up with was a former Olympic figure skater who's been in exile with her husband for nearly twenty years. She moves back to Nashville, her hometown, after her husband dies...yes, in a very strange auto shop accident. There she meets a former NHL bad boy. They are both in need of a rescue. I'm now calling it, "Fresh Ice."
But now what? I've written, and rewritten, and, thanks to the tireless efforts of my critique partner, Linda, REWRITTEN (she has informed me that she can, indeed, recite the first chapter verbatim.) until now I have a rough draft in my hand. Now what?
Well, now the real work begins. Now I need to go through and, with the help of my critique partner, fix the grammar, trim the word count, dump the really bad chapters. I need to tighten, tighten, tighten because, friends, I'm not writing Moby Dick. My story is going to stay on point. No one will probably teach my book in an English class...but at least people will enjoy reading it.
Now, since I will probably again e-publish, I have to also format the book. Design and pay for cover art. And Market, market, MARKET myself and this book until my whole body hurts.
Maybe I'll pitch this to a traditional publisher. Maybe...I don't know.
What I do know, and I what I want to pass on to everyone out there who is struggling to just finish the beast, is this: Getting out the words, "The End" is a huge accomplishment. Yes, there's work after that. No, the world is not going to do a giant happy dance and line up to buy your first draft. Or your second. Or your third. BUT, pat yourself on the back, if you've finished that first draft because that, my friends is a very big first step.
Now, I'm off to finish the first draft of my work place humor book.
Go forth and write!