Shiny New Thing...

Bright new shiny thing!!
"Look! Shiny New Thing!!"

My brain does this every time!

I get to within sight of the end of a first draft and it's as if my brain has finished it and moved on. In some senses, it has finished it. It's written in my head. It's just not yet actually written down.

I have about 5000-8000 words still to write in this first draft of book #9. That's all. I should (should) get it finished this week. I know how many scenes there are to go, and I know what happens in all of the scenes.

And so my head has gone walkabout and is on to something new. Vaguely related, most of the time, but an unnecessary distraction, nonetheless. Yes, it's all very lovely imagining the characters in another 10 years or so, but that's not helpful to finishing this book. And I don't know that I should really be anticipating writing an urban fantasy version of The Forsyte Saga, with generation upon generation of people.

Instead of managing to sit down and write the last few scenes, my brain is flitting all over the place, thinking about Aeron and Faran at forty years old. Or about the book that's been on hold for two years while I wrote and edited The Trilogy (and now a fourth book in the series). Or about the book that's now been on hold for eight years. Or about yet another book that's beginning to poke my brain, saying "Look at me! I'm new. And shiny. And at that fun stage where almost anything could happen!"

And that's the crux. The magical journey of discovery is largely over for book #9. I know what happens. I know how all the characters will react to it all. I know I have the less fun job of a structural edit looming, although at least the more fun 'getting the words right' edits will follow that.

But for these other potential books, all of that magic is still ahead. I sort of know what might happen, but nothing is fixed and all could change. My brain (naturally) wants to do all the fun, creative stuff of making people up, designing a new world and making things happen, rather than the harder (and distinctly less fun) bits of editing.

My desk is never this tidy...

The final week of writing a first draft is always the hardest. My brain has moved on but the hard work still needs to be done. But hopefully, by this time next week, three months after writing the first words in Scrivener, I'll have my first draft in the bag.

See you next week. Assuming the bright new shiny things haven't kidnapped me.