It’s finished. It being the first draft of the novelette I’ve been working on for about the last month, still, and possibly forever as I haven’t been able to think up another name, entitled His Name was Henry. After failing to meet my self imposed deadline to finish the draft by last Friday I then gave myself another forty eight hours, aka the weekend, to get it done. It turned out I only needed twenty four. On Saturday morning after a highly enjoyable breakfast roll and coffee provided by the lady Holly I set up the laptop, turned the heater on high in order to battle this cold Melburnian winter, and got to work. It took around another six hours of writing, and another three thousand and sixty four words, but I got it done.
The rest of my weekend was then spent being as unproductive as I had been productive before that.
The final page count was 26, and word count 17,191; only 309 words away from being a novella according to the statistics I wrote about recently. I have to admit I’m more than happy with it being a novelette not only because I think it is a respectable amount for a first try but also because novelette is a more fun word to say, especially if you put an accent on it.
I was very happy to be finished. Pressing the final period onto the page brought on a feeling that can only be described as a writer’s high (it’s quite the rush, but not one you’re going to be able to get in a hurry, so if you’re looking for a quick fix maybe just stick with the cocaine. Or write a blog, whatever). While writing this novelette hasn’t been some herculean effort – quite the opposite as it was, you know, fun – putting it down, and in a form I’m happy with, is a relief. One that’s comparable to lowering yourself slowly into a hot tub as a satisfied sigh escapes your mouth which is fixed into insuppressible smile. In other words it felt good.
Having had the story bouncing around in my head for a while with a monologue about it running almost constantly in the back of my mind for the last month as I tried to place all the pieces, figure out dialogue, ensure that it all made sense, and confirm the tone remained constant throughout it means that now my head feels a little emptier. The idea apartment has become vacant, cleaned out, and ready for a new tenant to move in. Which one already has. Perhaps because the brain gets off on being creative (it definitely does, writer’s high is a real thing) but in the last week a new story idea has forcibly pushed itself into my head and is now unpacking some of it’s stuff. I couldn’t be happier about it, this new fellow seems like a lot of fun, and I’m already looking forward to sharing him with all of you.
In the meantime here’s what’s going to happen next with the Henry story. It’s going to first be read by The Lady Holly who’s patiently listened to me prattle on about it throughout the whole process. Once she’s read it, fixed up all the (many) spelling and grammatical errors, and (hopefully) assured me that it’s not the most terrible thing ever written, then I’ll handball it over to Brother Jonathan. He, with his experience gained through a professional writing and editing course as well as his own many years of writing prose, will then hopefully improve the work further and let me know all the things wrong with it so I can then make them not wrong. Following this I’m planning for it to get into one more set of hands. A friend of mine, Georgie, in a moment of serendipity told me not hours after I finished the last sentence that her Aunty is a professional editor, one who would be happy to read and ruthlessly critique it. While I am a little terrified of getting feedback from someone who doesn’t know and/or love me; I am ecstatic at the idea of an impartial reader having a look and hopefully helping me bring it up to a higher standard. Once all that is done I’ll use all that feedback to go over it myself and write the second draft. Finally, I’ll then release it here, on this website, in one form or another, where, for the few of you reading this, can enjoy it.
While we’re on the topic of critics I came across this comic by the regularly hilarious Poorly Drawn Lines that pretty much sums up my want/fear of receiving said criticism.
Grandma, if you’re reading this (and I know you might be), do you want to read my story?
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