It’s done, it’s done!
Finally, I have reached the end of the end of the write-in: the rearranging, re-shuffling, pulling apart and stitching together phase of my revision. And I should probably take a break, but I am more excited than ever to get started typing the thing in. I am so proud of it, and I am dying to show it to someone. The thing is, it would be cruel to subject them to this handwritten, glued together, labor of love.
Here is what this looks like:
First draft (on left): 127,358 words. 303 pages long.
Revision (on right): 82,896 words. 437 mostly handwritten pages long.
One of my scratched out and rewritten pages of first draft. This is why I have to type the whole thing in again.
Most of my pages were handwritten and for me, this turned out to be one of the best things that happened to my revision. Handwriting slows the process down, and limited me to only a few scenes at a time-mostly only one per day- and gave me time to think and visualize what happened in the scene before I began to write it. Many times, not always, but by the time I sat down to write it, with my headphones over my ears to tune out the world, I would find myself so inside the scene that it played out before my senses as if I were there. I fell in even more in love with this story, and realized that I was utterly hooked on writing.
I will probably always remember this summer as the one where I wrote-really wrote this time-the story I love so much. I will miss the long evenings with the window open to my backyard, flipping page after finished page into the revised pile, and the long weekend afternoons drinking the strawberry banana smoothies that got me through until dinner while the cat came around to ask when I’m going to eat already. I will miss catching snatches of dialogue as my characters fill me in on what really happens in the story and committing them to post-it notes as I go through my workday.
My subtitle for this version of my story is called ‘The Summer of Love.’ I think that title applies in more ways than one.