Wow, what an exhausting ordeal. The final tally, including today’s labors, was 236 hours of writing and 219,000 words written, all over the course of 81 days of writing. All of which occurred in a little over three months (I started work on March 9th). The end result of which was a 32,000 word middle-grade mystery novel entitled EVERYONE HATES YOU. It’s about a sixth-grader who starts to suspect, during his twelfth birthday party, that all of his ‘friends’ have formed a conspiracy for the purpose of taunting and humiliating him.
Had a little scare today when I got to the end and realized that the solution to the mystery was incredibly obvious. However, I remembered Agatha Christie’s dictum to just look at who was the least likely person to have done it and then go back and scatter a few clues that lead to them. So I hastily revamped everything and turned the ‘obvious’ solution into a red-herring.
All in all, this has been a confusing and hellish experience. I’ve never before written so many words on a project and gone down so many false paths. In the end, the only way I managed to produce anything was to scrap literally every single thing about my original conception for the project and to start completely fresh.
I don’t know how good the final product is. Too much blood has been spilt for me to be able to think clearly about it. But I am very glad that it is over.
As always, I have many post-mortem blog posts planned about what I learned from this experience, but I think I’ll need a few days to actually put everything together and collect my thoughts.
I do know one thing, though: I’m not writing any more first drafts, of anything, for at least the next four months. It’s time for me to start getting things out the door.