A post on Finishing the First Draft of Broken.

Things were bad in Occupied Paris and getting worse.

Then the first draft was done.

I’m always strangely nerved up when I finish the first draft of a novel. I’m wired and chomping at the bit and high strung. I need my husband to rub me down and I need a warm, lavender-scented bubble bath with Mozart and Enya playing in the background.

There’s still so much work to do on the manuscript–see Annie Lamott’s beautiful book Bird by Bird for a discussion on the value of shitty first drafts–but a first draft is something complete that I can work with. It’s a whole fabric that I can tear into and reweave as needed.

So I’m happy and excited because I’ve made my vision concrete, and because the end is in sight. I’m keyed up because I’m going to gallop to the finish line. Then, of course, I’ll saddle up for the next marathon. But for now I’ve made progress. That is joyful indeed.

I get a little blue when the novel is actually done, when it goes to the book designer to be laid out in book format. Then it’s over, and it’s time to leave that world that I created so lovingly.

Time to move to the next world that lies dreaming in my imagination, waiting to be spun onto the pageā€¦.

 


Traci L. Slatton

Author Traci L. Slatton is a graduate of Yale and Columbia, and the award-winning, internationally published author of a dozen books of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction.

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