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Milestone 1: The first draft

img_0663In the summer of 2004, a conversation with my dad (about which I might go into detail sometime later), along with an idea for something I’d love to see in real life, mingled in my head to become an idea for a children’s book. Over the next couple of years, I got some thoughts down on paper, did some world-building, even wrote four chapters or so, and then somebody pointed out that a fundamental flaw in my setup, of which I was already aware and was trying to write around, wasn’t going to be written around very well.

I rethought my setup without discarding the overarching plot or concept, and started writing again. My problem was, I could never quite get things down to a manageable scale to actually feel like I could write anything and get anywhere.

So, I decided on a different tack — pick a smaller event in the same universe at a different point in time, and tell a much smaller story with people who would be side characters in the main story, just to help find my voice and get a “proof of concept” down on paper. Suddenly The Singing School became Holy Week at the Singing School. Eventually even Holy Week proved to be too big for what I wanted to do, and last spring I started one more rewrite, Pascha at the Singing School. I figured it would be somewhere around 10,000 words — 40-50 pages tops.

This evening I finally finished the first draft of Pascha at the Singing School, weighing in at around 21,000 words and 91 double-spaced pages.

So, I’ve written a book. It’s a short book. Editing, revising, and publishing said book will likely be a very different matter from writing the first draft — but the first stab at putting all the words, plot points, and characters together to telling the story is, er, in the books.

We’ll see what happens next.

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