I am finally, finally done with the first draft of Dreamwielder. The climatic chapter was a beast to write. I spent damn near 20 hours on the single chapter alone, including one grueling 13-hour stint Saturday night where I nearly made it to the end, but fizzled out.
I make a habit of emailing myself the novel manuscript every time I add to it or make significant changes (just to make sure I have a back-up copy), and here's the transcript of my e-mail to myself when I finally crapped out early Sunday morning:
from Garrett Calcaterra
date Sun, Feb 7, 2010 at 5:46 AM
Fuck. 32... alolst
Attch: Dreamwielder.doc 995K
Ahh, chapter 32... that was the bitch chapter I was stuck on. “Alolst,” I can only assume was supposed to be “Almost,” and I believe “Fuck” was the expression of my disappointment at still not being done. I was a little drunk, perhaps, and definitely delirious and exhausted (you'll kindly note the time of the message was 5:46 AM). I didn't even manage to make it under the covers before passing out, but I crawled my ass out of bed only four hours later because I kept having dreams about the damn chapter. By 10 AM I had brewed up a pot of coffee and was back at it. Four hours later it was done (and just in time to watch the Super Bowl!).
It still hasn't completely settled in yet that I'm done, but I printed off a copy and seeing a nearly three-hundred page manuscript printed out gives it much more of a sense of realness. Anyhow, here's some stats I've been pondering since finishing:
Total length: 83,000 words
Manuscript length on January 15, 2010: 39,200 words
Official starting date of writing: June 2008
Months to complete first draft: 20
The crazy thing to me is that more than half of the book was written in the last month, whereas the first half was spread out over 19 months. Egads, is all I have to say. What the hell took me so long? In any case, I'm glad the draft is finally done. There's still more work to do, of course. I have several family members and close writer friends who will be reading it and giving me feedback, and then starts the revision process, the whole literary agent search, and all the business end of trying to publish a book.
That's all for now. I'm pooped. Until next time...