Before that title gets all you ninety-nine percenters riled up and ready to Occupy Furie, allow me to explain. It is estimated that less than one percent of people who start to write a book ever finish it. Today I joined those people.
My first complete draft of Wildwood had 91,534 words. I was happy with it and counted it an achievement. I thought that the book could easily be published in the form it was in then, but I knew enough to take some time off and come back to look at it later on. A couple of months went by and I read it again, noting so many flaws that it would have been quite simple to throw the book out and start all over again. As it is I removed one major subplot that ran for a good 32,000 words and then started restructuring what was left so that it made more sense.
Scenes were expanded and more detail was added to the world. Sometimes I’d go into the next chapter and continue a scene from a different point of view, rather than keep it all together. Sometimes I’d go back on myself, allowing for a little more foreshadowing of events throughout. As I’d already spent some time figuring out the entire story I wanted to tell (which will be told through this book and two others) I was able to spin more details into the narrative than had existed before, and I focussed on characters who had little page time before.
Once the rewrite was complete I gave it to Kim to read, telling her to note down things that didn’t make sense or any problems she found with it. She found some problems, mostly with tense, and a few structural problems that were addressed. Chapter by chapter, she found problems and I fixed them. Step by step, my final draft approached a publishable form. And today, that form was complete at 121,161 words.
Well, there is still the spell-checking edit to go through, and some parts may get slightly changed to fully match the story I want to tell in other books, but the book is done beyond that. No more rewrites, no more wondering if I’m wasting my time trying this, no more second guessing myself about whether I’ll finish or not.
I am the one percent and Wildwood is finished.