Friday, March 27, 2009


This morning my work-in-progress lurched past 100,000 words. A landmark! Which means nothing! It's just a number at the bottom of my screen that makes me feel like I've done something of note.

But like a broken clock that still shows the correct time twice a day, I suspect that if I had typed the same word 100,000 times, at least occasionally it would be the right one in the right place, which is more than I can say for this first draft now slouching towards completion.

How can it seem to be both melodramatic and boring? Both superficial and self-indulgent? I don't know, that's the madness of the exploratory draft!

Oh well. I try not to judge, because I suspect that it's impossible to be objective this close to it. What seems slow-paced will turn out to be fast; what seems meaningful will turn laughable; what I half-remember as sloppy, half-witted prose will become poetry. So really, nothing I think now about its quality matters. At all! Or so I tell myself.

But now the end is in sight. I know roughly what is going to happen and (more importantly) how I want it to feel -- to me, to the reader, to the characters.

There are still -- heh heh heh -- a few surprises in store for the characters. This may be the end of the book, but it's not the end of the story, after all.

Just a few more weeks. I feel like I've rounded the last corner in a race and I can see the finish line even as my muscles turn to glue and everything goes slow and dreamlike. Almost there....

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