Summer Rush, draft six, is finished. It’s currently sitting in a tray on my desk, waiting for me to type it up on my computer. Actually finishing was a bit of an anticlimax, I admit. That excited buzz starts to wear off when you’ve “finished” six times.
I’ve learned some new things in writing this draft, as I always do. Something that has been hammered firmly into my head is something that we’ve all been told a thousand times: take a break between writing drafts.
It’s amazing how immersed you can become in your novel. Regardless of the genre, the novel world becomes your second world. The people are real. The places are real. And it gets to the slightly scary point where you can open your novel document to any page, find a random sentence, and finish it just after seeing the first word.
Needless to say, Summer Rush and I need a break from one another.
Another something that became horribly, terribly real for me is that all your favorite lines won’t make it to the final draft. I’ve had to kill some of my darlings, and kill them mercilessly. I sliced a whole chapter out of this draft, and I just about cried while doing it. It’s hard, as I’m sure you guys know from experience.
This draft also forced me to realize that pain is good. It’s good when it’s your characters’ pain, anyway. Rush being one of my favorite characters, it just about kills me when I make awful things happen to him. But really – who cares if something bad happens to the bad guy? That’s no fun. It has to happen to the good guy.
Summer Rush has been teaching me a lot, even as I pull my hair out and scream in absolute editing agony. It’s a good novel. I’m proud of it.