I finished the first draft of my Beauty and the Beast retelling this morning!
I started writing this book at the end of October. Sometime around February, I started to worry that I was being a big slacker, because the previous three books all took me about three months to finish the first draft, and this one had been going for longer than that and wasn't anywhere close to done!
Was I getting lazy? Was I getting slower? I didn't think I was getting slower -- I'd been tossing out 1,500 to 2,000 words in most writing sessions. And I was writing several evenings a week, and at least once a weekend, just like usual. Surely I wasn't getting lazy.
I gradually realized that laziness and writing speed weren't a problem. This book is just bigger. At least, this first draft is. My first drafts for Cloaked, Dancing and Doughnuts, and One Bad Apple averaged under 30,000 words. This first draft? Is over 100,000 words. No wonder it took me three times as long to write -- it's three times as long!!!
Now, does this mean the finished book will be three times as long as the others? Probably not. My word count changes a LOT during revision. Usually, it goes up. But I think it might go way down this time because I suspect there's a lot of trimming and tightening to be done. I don't know yet. I won't know until I get revision suggestions and notes back from my editor. And I'm not ready to even send it to her yet. First, I'll let the whole thing simmer for a week or two while I recover from the last couple of weeks, where I pushed hard to get it finished.
Once I can read it with fresh and rested eyes, I'll change and fix a lot of things I've made notes on as I go. Then I'll send it to my editor when it's ready, and when she's ready for it. She'll spend a week or two on it. She'll send back her notes. I'll spend a week or so sulking because I hate getting revision notes and always sulk about them. Which I've just learned to expect.
Then, I can start revising. I'm guessing I'll send it to my editor in early September, and start actually revising it in early October. Sometimes my rewrites go quickly. Sometimes, I spend more time rewriting than I did writing. Because I suspect this book will get a lot cut instead of a lot added, I'm hoping this will be on the shorter end of revision times, but... I won't have a good idea of what needs to be done until I get my editor's notes.
All of which means... yay, the first big chunk of work is done!!! But I don't have any idea of when my release date will be. I've been hoping for winter, and that could still happen. Or it might not. We'll see!
Meanwhile, I still need a title. Sigh. That'll happen too, I know. It will, not matter how patient or impatient I am. But I hate not having a title. Sigh.
Anyway! In this post, as you may have noticed, I'm sharing a few images that are related to my book. I shared these all on Instagram last month, as part of a challenge to talk about your work-in-progress, or WIP. You can read those specific posts (and see more pictures) here, here, here, and here. You can also check out my Pinterest board for this book to see lots of things that I've either found inspiring or saved to refer back to. Many of the pictures are the same, to be honest.
I'll just leave you with this Bible verse that has been in my mind a lot while writing this book. Waiting and hoping and being of good courage are pretty big themes in it. At least in this first draft!