Yesterday was my target date. I was supposed to have the next draft of the book totally DONE.
Technically, I made it. Sometime Wednesday morning before work, I finished revising the last paragraph of the last chapter. I want to talk some about the process of writing this book.
It all started the first summer I lived on Orcas Island. I’d just made it out of hell and narrowly escaped homelessness in Seattle. I was offered a kitchen job at the camp that offered housing, which was my own room to myself, and food, and year-round work, sort of. I was staying somewhere, for the first time in years. I wasn’t fully on my feet but for once I didn’t have to worry about basic survival.
So, after further investigating UW’s English department, I realized they really don’t offer the array of writing classes I want. I’d spend most of my time there taking literature classes, which isn’t necessarily terrible, but I want to be writing, and not just analytical, critical essays. I have three semesters left if all my credits transfer, and I don’t want to have to put writing on hold for that long while I get my degree. What irks me to no end is that UW offers these “extension” programs aimed at the working adult, and they have extension classes in everything I want to take – memoir, creative non-fiction (as in articles and essays), screenwriting, genre fiction, literary fiction. Such a delectable selection! But of course, when I asked the English department, I found out that in no way can any of the extension classes be taken for credit.
So, my friend Linda and I have set Sept. 15 as the target date to finish our manuscripts. She’s writing a really awesome novel with immensely compelling characters and gorgeous prose. I’ve read a few earlier versions and have seen her novel evolve and grow stronger, more immediate and more specific. I have supreme faith that hers will be polished and perfected by our due date.
I’m a little less sure about my own, and maybe it’s simply because it’s my own. I worry that it isn’t compelling enough, that characters aren’t distinct enough, that people won’t relate, and the like. I suppose everyone worries that about their own work, and maybe it’s a good thing to be concerned with these things, because I’ll be conscious of them in the back of my mind at least, during revisions.