Ah, there is no more wonderful feeling than typing The End. Even when I know that this silly book is going to continue to cause me pain and suffering (and sweet potatoes, this one caused episodes of abject whining and moaning already) it’s still nice to put the damned thing away for a little while.
I haven’t shared the title of this little gem, but since I’m about to toss it into the revision stew to let it simmer for a while, I thought I’d give it a touch of love as I start to practice pitching (seriously though, it’s a rough draft, so it’s just not ready for anything).
Title: TO SING DOWN THE SKY
Comparison: If you took Captain Jack Sparrow and put him into a blender with Avatar: The Last Airbender and hit frappe, you’d get this story.
Pitch (this is super rough, so feel free to comment):
Tashira grew up in a world where singing is punishable by death. The only people who sing are the sea priests, ancient descendants from the guardians of the seas, and tasked with keeping the world safe from the Kryannians, monsters who live in the depths of the oceans. When the priests arrest Caven, a young man serving on a cargo ship, Tashira begins to doubt the sea priests’ propaganda. When the sea priests burn down her home and send giant mud crabs to kill her, Tashira knows something is wrong with the priests. To get her answers, she defies the priests and sings. When her song calls down a storm, Tashira knows that the sea priests are lying and she’s something the world hasn’t seen in generations: a storm singer.
Now the only problem is staying alive long enough to uncover the other lies the sea priests have raised her on, and the biggest is waiting at the bottom of the sea.
Yeah, like I said, that’s really rough. It needs a lot of work, but so does the draft.
Stats (because I love numbers)
Date started: 4/1/2013
Date ended: 7/13/2013
Time off (for good behavior): 21 days (you know, to start a new job, and interview, and work on another project… normal stuff).
Number of days writing: 84 (commonly known as 12 weeks, no really, it’s uncanny).
Average number of words per day: 881
Number of times I whined about how much it sucked: Yeah, I can’t count that high, I’m busy toasting the end of a rough draft here.
Number of Shiny New Ideas that tried to tempt me away: 2
Number of words I plan to cut when I get back to this draft sometime in December? All the words.
So there you have it folks. Start to finish, one rough draft. How do I feel? Well, it always feels great to pound out the words “The End,” but I can honestly say that this was one of the hardest books to write ever (I say that every time because This Is the Hard Part). The whole time I could see my failings as a writer while I was writing it. It was strange to see it as such a terrible, flawed thing. Usually, when I write a rough draft, it’s a fast and easy love. All I want to do is work on it. This one saw me questioning everything about it: Is this good enough? Was Act I long enough? Did I include enough description? Too much? Is the dialogue good enough? Does my non-native speaker sound to much like he’s from India? Does he sound british now? Oh god, shoot me before my pirates start saying “shiver me timbers.”
Okay, it might not have gotten that bad at the end, but I would definitely call that draft an over glorified outline. It’s going to gain about 20K in new material alone. Then I’m going to rewrite the whole thing. Yeah, I talk about efficiency because I have none. ::shakes fist at sky:: Process, why are you so lugubrious?!
And there you have it, Too Much Information. How about you, do your first drafts feel like they’re written with Umbridge’s pen, using your blood as the ink and scribing the words on your soul? Or are you a happy go lucky writer for whom first drafts are all kittens and rainbows? I used to be kittens and rainbows writer, but not anymore.