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Does this thing work?

It’s been so long since I’ve logged into my site that I had to ping my web guy because I forgot my username and PW.

Turns out, I didn’t forget; he had to do some major updates back in June and reset everything. He’s provided me with a clever, naughty password (NO, I’M NOT TELLING) so all is write with the world. I mean RIGHT. Jesus.

Speaking of writing, I’ve been doing a lot of it. Been working on the book that I affectionately refer to as “Little Fucker.” For over THREE YEARS. I’m on version 3.5, which looks nothing like what I started with.

For those keeping track, even if it’s only me when I think of logging in and browsing through my past posts, here’s the scoop:

  • Draft 1.0 started on May 5, 2012. I have a memory for these things, but don’t ask me who was president in 1849. No clue.
  • Ditched and started over about 6-ish months later, but 1.0 was never a complete draft — it was only 60,000 words. Because it wasn’t complete, I’m calling the next “draft” version 1.5.
  • Draft 1.5 started in late 2012 or early 2013.
  • Finished 1.5 in February of 2014. 100,000 polished words.
  • Ditched 1.5 in June of 2014 and started draft 2.5.
  • Finished 2.5 in March of 2015.
  • Ditched 2.5 in June 2015. Started draft 3.5.
  • Finished 3.5 this past weekend.

When I talk to non-writers about this, I get one of several reactions. They’re either appalled, confused, or convinced I obviously don’t know what I’m doing.

When I talk to writers about this, they nod knowingly. Drafting, ditching, and drafting again is part of many writers’ processes (though not all, and that’s OK, too). There’s no shame in working at something until you get it right.

“But how do you know when it’s right?” people always ask.

See, that’s the thing. I WILL know. It’s a feeling. That doesn’t mean everyone will love what I wrote. Far from it. I’m writing for the people who loved What Happened in Granite Creek, because I consider that my strongest work to date. I KNEW when that novel was done, and for versions 1.0 through 2.5 of Little Fucker, I KNEW those versions weren’t there. Something was always nagging in the back of my head.

With version 3.5, I feel the structure is there, although I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up putting quite a bit more work into certain sections and possibly even moving stuff around. But the overall structure, which for me is everything, is there.

I think.

Stay tuned.