I’ll be honest, it got to the third week of October and I considered my chances of publishing this book before Christmas pretty slim. I hadn’t looked at the story for more than three weeks and it seemed my mojo had taken Christmas holidays early. Often, the only way to get out of this is to just sit down and write, which is exactly what I did.
And it worked. I slowly gathered momentum and worked out where the story was going and what the characters were doing.
When I picked it up again, the first draft was about 66,000 words, or 2/3 of the final count. I had most scenes, but they lacked detail and purpose. Characters had gone missing. The pace was jerky, and it didn’t feel anywhere near close to finished. There were some moments early on where I wondered how I would ever be able to turn it into a coherent story. It’s pretty daunting at that point, wondering whether you have the skill or the perseverance to make it all happen.
This is how I write. I bash out a first draft like its a 500 piece puzzle missing 300 of the pieces. I end up doing four or five edits of every story, adding, cutting, polishing, until I’m so sick of reading it that I don’t think I can add any more. Each read through and edit gets a little better.
I got there in the end and felt pretty good about not letting the people down who I’d told I would publish before Christmas. It’s not perfect, and I know when I look back at it in a couple of months there will be glaring holes, but for now, it’s the best I can do.