Is there a draft in here?

Hmmm. It looks like someone power-washed my blog while I was gone. Or something. Still seems a bit, um, damp in here. Is someone missing a kilt? At least, I think this is a kilt. Or it was . . .

Glad you all had fun in the comments while I was gone. I had a fantastic time at the beach! This getaway was long overdue and I’ve already decided I’m going back again. It was a worthwhile investment in both my sanity and my writing. No, they are not mutually exclusive.

There was more activity at the beach than I anticipated this early in the season. The air was nice and warm, but the water? Brrrr. The first few days I saw a lot of wind surfers. Or maybe they’re called kite surfers. Some of them let the wind pull them up out of the water, as high as 15 to 20 feet, and then float along for several yards before touching down to surf again. Serious upper body strength going on there.

This guy was having a tough time getting started. Made me wonder how you stop — it’s not as if you can just switch off the wind.

There were storms one night and I woke the next morning to SHARKS!

Okay, those aren’t sharks. They’re people in wetsuits sitting on surfboards. Everyone who spent significant time in the water was wearing a full wetsuit. But they do look like predators, all lined up out there, waiting to devour the next unsuspecting wave.

This is a picture I took at dusk of a nearby restaurant and its pier — outdoor seating for diners, weather permitting. There was a wedding out on the pier early one evening. Lovely.

What’s that? Why yes, I did also spend a wee bit of my time there writing. It wasn’t all spent sitting on the balcony staring at the ocean, feeling the sun on my face and the wind in my hair, listening to the crash of waves punctuated by the cries of sea birds.

I seem to have also managed to complete a draft of my novel.

Now before anyone gets too excited, my definition of “draft” is probably not the same as anyone else’s definition. For instance, it’s not the famous “truck draft” Jenny Crusie talks about. Believe me, if I were to get hit by a truck, no one reading my version of a draft would think, Hey, this just needs a bit of editorial tweaking and we’re good to go.

There is still a LOT of work to do. But it has a beginning and a middle and an end. Even better, it has three acts in eight (or so) sequences and turning points and a “this changes everything” midpoint and escalating tension and a solid plot and — well, it’s enough that I’m calling it a draft. A very rough draft. Okay, yes, parts of it are very smooth and polished. Huge sections, even. Still, it needs a lot of work. Including a couple scenes that are mostly notes to myself about what goes there and how it needs to happen.

I’m sure any writer with more experience than I have — hell, maybe even those with less experience –will read this post and think, Oh for godsakes, this is not a big deal, anyone can finish a rough draft. Yeah, well, I was starting to think I never would. For me, it’s a big fucking deal.

So I’m happy and hugely relieved right now, in a stunned I-can’t-quite-believe-it kind of way, and feeling like maybe I can do this whole writing thing after all.

Although, I suspect that confident sense of accomplishment will fade faster than my sunburn (yeah, totally forgot the sunscreen). Because, you know, as I might have mentioned, I’ve got work to do.

But still. Damn. I completed a rough draft.

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Filed under creativity, writing

24 responses to “Is there a draft in here?

  1. Woo hoo! This calls for a glass of champagne. Only have the virtual stuff on hand, but all the same

    Um… sorry about that. Thought you were holding a champagne glass too. Anyway, that is a major accomplishment and I truly am SERIOUSLY proud of you. And in awe.

    um… I’m sure those stains on the carpet will wash out… eventually…


  2. btuda - aka Brenda Liles

    Yay! Congrats on the “truck” draft! You’re eons past any of my WIPs!


  3. Good on ya, BCB! You are now qualified to participate in the “James Caan Ceremony”, which is something one does when one completes an MS.

    I remember the evening I “finished” mine. It was like four years ago. Then I spent another six months editing it. Then I spent another year revising it. Then I spent…

    Well, you get the picture.

    But, good job! And, um, sorry about the mess. I hope your insurance covers water damage, insect infestations, and CB invasions…


  4. Theresa

    To quote Merry, “Woo Hoo!!” This is fantastic! I definitely think this calls for basking. Don’t bask too long, though, as someday soonish I’d like to read your book, non-rough draft.

    Well done!


  5. McB

    Woo hoo! Merry, pass me some of that bubbly if you haven’t spilled it all.

    Congrats BCB. Stop knocking your accomplishment. Bask a little for Pete’s sake.

    Oh and trust me, the power washing was A Good Thing. Really.


  6. That’s at least one more book that I could do. Good for you!


  7. Lou

    Eee-haw!!! And Hoo-rah!!! Yay to you, BCB.

    Now, enough deserved basking – get to editing and refining so that we can read it!

    Final version of book done yet??


  8. Robin S. Sorrentino

    Yay, Yay, Yay, BCB. Completing the rough draft is huge. And the feeling…Oh, man. It’s tremendous.

    Glad it was such a fun and productive vacation.

    Doing the snoopy dance for you.


  9. Thanks, guys! It really is an awesome feeling. Just hoping I can maintain this forward progress for the push to a final draft.


  10. Louis


    A lift of the glass to you.


  11. me

    Great news! I know how hard this is so this is BIG. Congrats.


  12. I’ll add my WooHoo to those above, and trust me, it is a big deal and you deserve major kudos for your accomplishment. The only story I have ever done start to finish was in my head. By the time I got to the end, I had absolutely no interest in writing it down. That was when I knew without a doubt that I am not a writer. Too much work. Also, I don’t want to be a beta reader. I have no ability to do constructive critisism (nor can I spell it). But I absolutely want to read it when you are finished. So hurry up and finish.

    Why is there a can of spray cheese in the corner?


  13. Diane (TT)

    Many congratulations! That’s an excellent milestone. Now it’s just a matter of smoothing and polishing, which is WAY easier than dreaming things up out of nothing.

    Bask, enjoy the champagne (if Merry lets you get any in your mouth), and make sure that you have backup copies in multiple places. Not here, because people wander in and then “clean up” after themselves.


  14. orangehands

    Hello, yes, this is a big deal, and not everyone can finish a rough draft, and I’m so proud you did. Woot!


  15. WapakGram

    I’ve wanted to read your book since I read your first comments on Jenny and Bob’s blog. Then I met you and wanted you to finish the book for YOU. And you have. Now it is happy time for all of us!

    What a woman. What an accomplishment. Hurry up and bask and get back to work!!! 🙂


  16. You all really are amazing friends and I can’t begin to tell you what your support (and patience) means to me. I know I absolutely would not be where I am in my writing “career” without you.

    Thank you.


  17. CMS

    Count mine as one more voice eager to see you’re that much closer to getting finished book into our hands. Sure we’re happy for you, but even more so, we’re happy for ourselves. We’ve been waiting with great anticipation for your book. Yes, yours. You’re smart, funny, sharp and brilliant. You have a way with words that is sure to translate to the written page.
    Good job. Be proud of yourself. More people don’t finish a draft than ever do.


  18. Thanks, CMS. Although, good grief, those are some pretty lofty expectations you think I’m capable of achieving. No pressure at all, right? 8) Sure hope I don’t let everyone down.

    And I really am proud of (finally) finishing a draft. Was starting to think I never would.


  19. Nice blog, just saved it for later reading.


  20. Hmmmn…. McB told me to come here and leave a cryptic remark, so here goes:

    The sight of a drill will give me a thrill
    Presumably this lyric pertains to people who have a fetish for dentists?


  21. McB

    To borrow a phrase from JC … o j h

    Go home, Merry.


  22. Just for the record? You all are scaring me.

    Also, I need to write a new blog post.

    It’s been two months? Damn.


  23. Theresa

    I love a parade, when I hear a band

    Trumpet and red stilettos, coming through!