Yes, I finally typed those beautiful words this morning…(and then promptly went out for Thai food for lunch to celebrate!)…which means I now have a complete draft of Truth About T.M.S. to work with. (I tried to take a picture of myself typing “the end” for my Project 365 today, but it didn’t work very well…) The manuscript weighs in at 143 pages and almost 37,000 words.
I am, of course, under no illusions that I’m “done” with this manuscript…I know there are a lot of little things that I need to go back and fix…and I know the ending needs some SERIOUS attention! But overall, I’m feeling good about this draft. My critique group met last night (my first readers after Preteen…though NOBODY has actually seen the last 25 pages yet…Preteen will probably read them tonight, though) and they had a lot of really nice things to say about it (like “parts of this were really painful to read” — yes, that’s a GOOD thing!). But even more important, we figured out what was wrong with pages 65-105! It’s not just one thing, it’s several little things: 1) Zebby needs to struggle a little more with feelings of remorse (clearly I have very little conscience myself since this keeps coming up time and time again in critiques); 2) a couple of Trevor’s (and one of Zebby’s) segments need to be shortened; and 3) one plot point needs to be dropped (the “point” of that point has already been made) and another thing that I just mention in passing needs to be more fully developed. No problem! Now that I know…I can do that.
So, now I start over one more time (now that I can look at the manuscript as a whole…). I’ll transfer all of my critique groups’ comments (and Preteen’s comments, too) to one manuscript so they’re easier to deal with. I also need to have Teen read it to check my “computer stuff” for accuracy (he’s also a pretty good critiquer). I’m planning to go visit my dad this weekend, so I’ll have some quiet time while he’s sleeping and while I’m by myself in a hotel to comb through this manuscript in greater detail. Then I’ll give it to my “tough” critique group (NOTHING gets past these people!!!!)…make a few more changes…and send it off!