EEEP! I’ve been celebrating all over social media today, but in case you haven’t seen – very early this morning, I finished the first draft of Cahill Book 3!
It’s 317 pages long and 94,504 words.
I feel like I’ve been working on this draft forever. Really, it’s only been since November. Six months. It took much longer than I thought, but it also ended up much longer than I thought! (For comparison’s sake, the early drafts of BORN WICKED and STAR CURSED were both only 74,000. I think the added wordage is due at least in part to the fact that I can now hear Editor Ari in my head, asking me, “Where are they? What are they doing with their hands? What is she wearing? I forget what she looks like…” so I’ve learned to add in more description as I go!) I asked for an extension (on the calendar below, you can see “Deadline” written and then crossed out on both April 15 and April 19), and Editor Ari has been super-busy with other books, so she gave me a whole extra month. I’m really grateful to have had the time to get it (hopefully) right.
I’m also super-grateful to The Playwright, who has brainstormed with me day and night (sometimes at 4am when I came to bed teary and frustrated). And to my awesome critique partners: Kathleen Foucart, Miranda Kenneally, Robin Reed, Caroline Richmond, and Tiffany Schmidt, who have read the first 2/3 of the draft and given me stellar comments and have been begging to find out what happens and who dies. (I admitted last week on twitter to sobbing in the middle of a coffee shop while I killed off a major character.) They’ll be getting a present in their inboxes as soon as I have time to edit up this last chapter…
I also wanted to share a peek into my process – I use stickers on my wall calendar to reward myself. I stole this idea from Erin Bow (author of the fabulous PLAIN KATE) and I find it surprisingly motivating. Lots of days in the middle of the month, I wrote 500 or 800 words – but only 1000 words earns a Care Bear!
I know I’ll spend the rest of the spring and my summer revising this beast, but – you guys, I’ve written a whole freaking trilogy!