'My own experience is that once a story has been written,
one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there
that we authors do most of our lying.'-Anton Chekhov
I suppose that quote shall be my fate as I say ..... I've completed the first draft of my latest novel;
'The Bootleggers Wife, a Love Story.'
But oh well, I shall revel in the deliciousness of that first heady flush that comes with typing those small but oh so powerful words; THE END. At this point I can easily convince myself that this labor of love will only need a quick touch up. A comma here, a misplaced quotation mark there, one or perhaps two small typos and voila', I'm done. Certainly nothing that a simple brushstroke can't take care of.
But then the truth of the matter settles in. First Draft....not to be confused with:
The first of several re-writes stare me in the face.
I'm with Mr. Checkhov; for me the first and the last chapters are the most difficult.
The first chapter ,of course, because I'm trying to find the right voice. Each character is unique and wants to tell their story in their own way. I hear them clearly, but the task before me is to insure that YOU hear them as I do. Sometimes it takes a bit to get into the rhythm and find that sweet spot. I have to find my way. By the time I come to the end of my book and I'm totally immersed in my character and her world, it is easy to see where changes need to be made back at the beginning.
The last chapter is difficult because I'm sprinting to the finish line when I should have been stopping to smell the roses. I'm in such a hurry to get those last words out there, that the last chapter usually needs a lot of work in the re-write stage. But hey, that's what first drafts are all about, right?
For now, I'm on a short break; a two week leave of absence from the manuscript that has eaten up every spare moment for over six months. It is necessary to step away, to breathe, to gather my thoughts before diving into the deep end. But if the truth be told.........I can't wait.