What I’ve Got:
1. A First Draft.
It’s possible that this may sound more exciting than it actually is. A first draft is really nothing more than a big pile of words. Admittedly, I did type them all, but I have, at this point, no guarantee they’re all in the right order, or even that they’re the right words. Basically, a first draft gives you something to work with, a lot more concrete than an idea, but still pretty vague and amorphous.
2. A Deadline. Now this is not the cool kind of deadline we have in Dream-Writer-Land where your big publisher gives you a six-figure advance which you can immediately start living on and then says, “I want that manscript on my desk in six weeks so we can rush it to press!” No, in Real-Writer-Land, at least where I live, what happens is that your small independent publisher says, “We like those sample chapters you sent and we definitely want to see the final manuscript. And we’d like, if possible, to see it by mid-April, so that if we decide to publish the book, we can bring it out this fall.” Which is cool, but there are no guarantees or, more significantly, no six-figure (or five or four-figure) sums of money being tossed around, so I have to keep my day job. Which brings me to the third thing I’ve got …
3. A freakin’ huge lot of work to do between now and the middle of April.
Still, the news is good. I am hard at work on a new historical novel; the first draft is done; the publisher is interested. Watch this space for further developments.
Oh yeah, there’s also a few things I haven’t got:
1. A Title. I still don’t know what this book is called, and inspiration is failing to strike.
2. Enough time to research and revise the next draft before mid-April. I wonder what I’ll end up cutting out of my life to get this project done???