Friday, March 20, 2009

Garlic Draft Done

Whew! I'm finally done with my 30,000 word draft. And it's only 22,000 words over what I thought it would be. Now comes the concentrated editing time. We'll see how many words survive the cut.

How it all started:
I was sitting in a conference room at the SCBWI-L.A. Working Writer's Retreat in 2007, toying with my main character who was half-Vampire, half-Italian. He loved garlic but was allergic to it. He also had no story. The energy, the creativity flowing through those rooms that weekend sparked my imagination in just the right way and Garlic was born.

About halfway through writing it, the story line changed in a not too subtle way. My main character took off and the story went with him. Then I had to figure out how to get him back. I also realized the original idea of the main story arc would not work. It wasn't strong enough. New characters were born, a new conflict arose, and the growth of the main character took an abrupt turn.

So now I am cleaning it up, smoothing it all out and checking that the story line that came to be is clear throughout the whole manuscript. Wish me luck!


  1. It often works that way. Some stories need midwives, I swear.

    I have a military sf story idea that I started working into an actual story from a 20k aborted piece-of-novel that had been laying about for at least a decade. I worked it up, got a lot of things in there to force it toward the end (which was the inspiration for the story, the ending scene I'd imagined) and...bleh. Complicated.

    A critique group member suggested starting with a combat scene (military sf needs combat scenes; silly me for overlooking that point) and so now I've got this great starting point. But I keep finding the next thing that pre-existed was just not right and having to change that. And it keeps cascading.

    Eventually, I will have a top-notch military sf story. But so many darlings will die in the process. It's sickening to me now, because I am still resisting. But eventually the clingy me will break out the machete and whack away at the stuff that has to go and the plot will unfold.

  2. *sigh* Blogger ate my comment.

    I've done the rewrite where the second draft was significantly different then the first draft. Sounds like you'll end up with a great book, but letting go of your babies is difficult.

  3. Sounds like a fun book, Sarah. Can't wait to read it :^)

    I didn't realize you had this alternate blog. I just keep learning so much, every day...