I finished my first NaNoWriMo 2009 novel on the 14th. Even without rereading it, I knew that what was there was definitely not perfect, but salvageable. The basic story is there. That’s what matters. The prose is definitely far from perfect (those of you who have been reading Adventures in Wrimonia now know what one of my typical first drafts looks like), the characters are ragged and immature, and even the story is standing on one leg, but it’s standing, and that’s what matters.
I set the story aside after finishing it, telling myself that I couldn’t start editing it until the new year. Then I realized that my birthday is in the first week of January (on Thursday, in fact), so another week of non-editing freedom would be nice, but that was only a technicality. January eighth has been planted in my mind since the day I finished the novel: the day the editing adventure begins.
But unlike all those other NaNo drafts I’ve written over the years, this one has stuck in my mind. I’ve thought of ways to change it. I’ve been pondering the timeline, the characters, the backstories. The ideas just won’t leave my head, and tearing into the draft now is sorely tempting.
I won’t do it, though. The countdown to this edit is like Christmas or NaNoWriMo or my birthday or lots of other things: the buildup is half the fun.
And we can’t go into this without the buildup, can we?