Archive: December 29th, 2009

Great Way to End the Year


Okay, I’m calling it a draft now. 82,419 words and at long last, my novel is written through the final chapter. Phew!

I’m not entirely sure how long this really took. My guess is I started in 1999. According to my reading list, I read J. Winocour’s “Story of the Titanic” in February 1998, and Stephen Cox’s “Titanic Story” in October 1999, and since reading is one of my favorite forms of research and this takes place immediately after the disaster, that seems a good sign.

So … ten years.

This isn’t saying that the book is DONE, mind you. Oh, no. Lots of work to be done! This is just the first draft, but considering I was stymied for something like 6 years with a 1912-era legal dilemma that I couldn’t find an answer to, getting the story all the way through to the end … no matter how rough and bumpy it might be along the way … is a relief.

Of course, there are lots of things that need fixing, tightening, and there are holes I know I need to plug. But that’s not the point, right? The point is that I’ve got 290 pages of manuscript that at least finally looks kind of like a book.

That’s kind of a nice way to end the year.

Highlights from 2009

Here, in case you missed them, are some of my favorite posts from the year:

  • Loot and Plunder: Do you follow through? Or do you leave people feeling like they’ve been pillaged?
  • Anticipation: A rare appearance of a poem I actually wrote.
  • Spinning Words: Because specialized vocabulary can be fun. (There were two more installments, here, and here.)
  • Pet Names: Do you have pet phrases you keep nearby at all times? How well-trained are they?
  • Why I Write: Because it’s the best fun around, that’s why!
  • Where the Action Is: Are the best stories the ones where events drive the story? Or where the characters do? (Or both?)
  • It’s Puzzling: Building a plot is a lot like creating a puzzle–it’s a lot of backward engineering to make sure everything works.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I know I have!