I’ve finished the first draft of my WIP!

It came in at a whopping 85,000 words. Whew. (And that’s only the words I saved. I’ve probably got 50000 more in files that didn’t make the cut and were discarded. But I don’t want to think about that.)

Had the shocking realization yesterday that it’s been five years since I last finished a first draft of a book-length manuscript. I know there were good reasons for that (not least the revisions to that last book and its publication), but I feel like the world’s slowest snail. Five whole years. Gulp.

Looking on the bright side, I’ve learned a lot in those five years and that should stand me in good stead when I revise. At any rate, let’s hope it does, because it’s going to take a lot of work to turn this puppy into something publishable.

But the story has passed the first test: Staying power. Some ideas go bad on you after the briefest of flirtations; others keel over after a few months of dalliance. But even after spending months and months holed up with this one, it’s still alive for me. I wake up thinking about the characters, and when I go for walks I learn new things about them and their world. And that’s good, because if you love a story that much, it’s easier to keep working and working on it until it blossoms into what you want it to be.