I wanted this out earlier in the day, but I came down with some sort of 24-hour stomach bug. Everyone knows that those usually end up with you having an intimate day with your bathroom floor.
Anyhow, I did manage to get myself to the print store before it closed last night and got the first half of my novel printed! (Please don’t read the picture, it’s all garbage.)
I will say, I love the editing process. There are a lot of people who write a ton on their first draft, but then they have to cut. I am pretty much the opposite. I start out with just the foundation of my work. I make sure the bones are good before I start adding improvements. I’m building the house from the ground up.
That said, my first draft should be about 120 pages. I had rather hoped it would be longer, but it’s what I have.
So, let me tell you a little bit about Neon Girlfriend. I had the idea for it several years ago before I started my MFA. I didn’t want to start working on it right away. It felt too big to just jump into right away. We lived at a boundary in Seattle where the high tech, rich companies were moving in on places that were generally lower income. That caused a lot of tension, and we saw the negative conflict it was having on people nearly every day.
My story is about a man, Reese, who has lived in a lower economic area for his whole life. He works as a garage security guard for a small company. To impress a girl he just met (she’s the star performer at a local strip club) he steals a necklace out of one of the cars he’s supposed to be monitoring.
I would like to think my book is about the gentrification of low economic urban areas. My husband says it’s about a creepy guy who falls in love with a stripper. To each their own.
Working with what I have, I marked each chapter with a sticky. Ideally, each chapter will get a week of work. I’ll tear it apart for grammatical errors, plot holes, and inconsistencies in character development. Each color of sticky will mean a different issue.
Next, I use my drafting board to visually break apart the issue in the chapter. Each sticky note will get its own set of note cards that detail the areas needing work.
At least, that’s what I’m hoping will happen. We’ll have to see how it actually goes!
If I get to the end of this draft, I’ll be proud if I have 60-ish decent pages to work with on the next draft.
We all know that Lilo and Stitch have the right idea!
credit on the Lilo and Stitch photo: Writers Write on Pinterest. Their website: https://writerswrite.co.za/first-writing-attempts/
Other photos belong to me