I’d set a goal for myself of completing the first (or second, depending on how I look at it) draft of my mystery novel, I Believe You, by the end of June. On Friday, I accomplished my goal – the draft is DONE. I got to type the magic words “THE END” at the end of Chapter 23, all 101,000 words later. I celebrated for all of 30 seconds before I realized I’d forgotten to wrap up one loose end, I’d introduced a character who went nowhere, and I’d missed using one plot device to further the mystery along. Time to start notes for the rewrite.
When I was a teenager and typing away at my first novels, I’d read somewhere that Stephen King wrote his books in just one take. One draft later, and he produced missives like The Stand (one of my all-time favorite books) and cultural phenomenons like The Shining (another of my favorites), Cujo, and Carrie.
I wonder, thought, just what is meant by “one draft.” Technically, as I return to my manuscript this summer, I’m working on the same draft – just fixing bits and pieces in certain chapters. A few chapters may need more work than others, but it’s nowhere near as extensive a rewrite as I completed between the first draft of the Majek family saga and the second draft, now titled I Believe You. In fact, that only similarity is the first chapter. That, to me, counts as a complete rewrite.
No matter. The fact remains that I’ve accomplished a huge goal that I set for myself many years ago. Back in 2008, I worked briefly with a personal coach. She had me set three life goals for myself. My three goals included weight loss, writing a salable novel, and one other one which I’m not ready to divulge yet. I’m working on the weight loss. The salable novel is now done. Working towards these goals, and picking myself back up no matter how many times I stumble and fall along the journey, has boosted my self confidence and my emotions in ways I couldn’t even begin to consider back in 2008 when I worked with the coach. I always thought of myself as someone who sets and achieves goals, but the big goals in my life that would really make an impact throughout other aspects of my life I always set aside and failed to complete. Now, however, I’m on my way. It’s really an exciting time and a good feeling!
In addition to I Believe You, I have the germ of idea for the 2015 Christmas story ready to work on this summer. My long-time readers and fans know that each Christmas, I release a free Christmas ebook via Smashwords. Last year’s story, The Christmas Fox, delighted many readers. This year’s story doesn’t have a title yet but the working title is The Widow’s Mite. The title comes from Luke 21:1-4 and Jesus’ story of the widow’s two coins. I think you will like it.
And…to add to the fun…I’ve also been working hard on a new spooky tale! Fans of An Ancient Gift and Other Stories have begged for more campfire-type ghost stories, the kind you aren’t afraid to let your kids read, the kind that produce atmosphere without gore. The Last Run of the 601 will be released as an Amazon Kindle book and, depending on its length, perhaps as a short printed book too.
Lots of good fiction in the works! I hope you enjoy my writing. In the meantime, to keep up to date with all of my new fiction and non-fiction releases, I invite you to “Like” my Facebook page, Writer Jeanne Grunert.