Thursday, June 26, 2008
Draft 1 Complete and Together: Blogging the Novel
Here's the good news:
My first draft is complete and I have sort of a working title. Btw, I am looking for feedback on this title. The original working title was The Beauty Parlour, but now I find that the truest way to tell the story is to set a few chapters (short stories) outside the parlour. So, I've divided the book into three parts, each with its own title, and hopefully it all comes together in the end.
The race is on between The Beauty Parlour and the new title, When Rage is Spent. Cast your votes now! :-)
So today I combined all the separate chapters into one giant file, my official first draft. All good, right?
Here's the bad news:
Unlike many writers (whom I desperately envy) I don't write too much and then cut. I write too little and need to add. This means adding detail, filling in atmospheric information (in this case, giving my novel more of a feel of the location), adding more filler, etc., etc.
So alas, while the first draft is now fully complete, it is far too short. At 202 pages and close to 54,000 words, I now need to add at least 20,000 more words and perhaps 20-30 pages for it to be really a novel. I was stoked while combining the files. I was so sure it was at least 70,000 words but alas! my shorthand way of writing strikes again.
While writing none of this technical stuff bothers me. But now that the novel is less a story and in the process of becoming a marketable product (please! please!) these weirdo things haunt me.
Who dictates what makes a novel?
Who determines the optimum length?
Why is 70,000 words better than 54,000?
Why the fuck am I so obsessed about this?
I know that ultimately I will do what is right for this book and I do know it needs more detail, some smoothening of rough edges, some re-working, perhaps adding more meat onto certain characters. And if that needs just 55,000 words so be it.
But still the wanna-be successful novelist in me does get a bit too caught up in numbers and crap.
It's all crap I tell ya.