I’m relieved–today I finished the first draft of the third Dickens Junction Mystery–The Our Mutual Friend Murders. This was my most carefully-planned book so far and, in my opinion, the most complicated in terms of plot and backstory. I’m pleased that my scene-by-scene outline worked well for me and that I only had to revise it once when I was already about two-thirds through the draft.
Even as well-planned as I thought it was, I encountered a few surprises, particularly near the end. The final chapter of this draft has twists that I didn’t encounter until today when I sat down in a marathon writing session and drafted it. After more than five hours at the screen I was able to type “The End” and push myself away from the computer.
Doing a first draft in fewer than nine weeks is the hardest part about writing a book. Going from nothing on the page to something is every writer’s dilemma; in my case it is the most stressful and difficult but it is not the most time-consuming.
That phase starts in a few days with the editing. But first, a few well-deserved days off traveling to Ashland to see plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. But on Tuesday it’s back to work.