I just completed the first draft of Book 26 of my Hot Dog Detective series, The Zamboni Zealot. I’ll not describe the content of the story in this post, but instead focus my thoughts on completing a draft.
When I was a kid, I would watch various programs that featured writers or whatnot, completing their masterpieces by writing “The End” when they finished their document. I don’t write those words. Instead, I write the final scene of the story, and I know when I have finished.
There are few things more wonderful than the feeling a writer has reached this pinnacle of accomplishment. I suppose there are other events in human existence which rival this feeling: winning Olympic Gold might come close; ascending the highest point on Mt. Everest might give the same feeling, assuming you haven’t frozen to death. But few other things in human endeavor could rival that feeling.
Of course, my first draft isn’t completed yet. It has to go through a whole bunch of other steps. First, I have to transfer the draft from my writing program (yWriter) to Word; then I have to do formatting to the structure I use in Word; then spell check (I don’t use the editing program in Word, since I don’t like it). Then I have to print out my final draft, in Word format, so I can hand edit the entire manuscript. I don’t like editing on the computer because I find it too easy to overlook misspelled words, grammatical problems, or other possible errors. Once I have made all these corrections, I send it off to one of my editors, who finds everything I missed.
Only then is my first draft ready for publication.
By this time, the joy of finishing the first draft has sort of worn off. Ultimately, I realize that writing is just another job, rewarding at times and tediously boring at other times.
But it is a job I’d never give up.