Yup, I typed those coveted words. It's done. Mark the date: 9.02.10 (just like that TV show). First draft, done.
And here's the thing, I started the thing so many years ago I don't even remember. The nugget of idea was inspired by my father's stories during the Pacific War, when he spent almost four years in an internment camp. I thought, wow, what a great story.
Of course, since then, the story in my head has deviated from my father's (sorry, Dad) and it twisted and turned so much that the original 90K story turned into 175K. I know I need to pare this thing down, and that's what I need to do next.
The truth is, I've set multiple deadlines for myself throughout the past few years. All false deadlines as I was nowhere need the end of the book. This time, however, I set a goal and told myself "I must finish the first draft by my birthday. No ifs or buts."
I'm so glad I did it. It does feel like an accomplishment, even though it's long time coming. I should have finished this two years ago. Even one year ago. But hey, better late than never, right? And the fact is, I finished it almost one month ahead of schedule (this time), and I should be proud of that.
So what's next?
Lots and lots and lots and lots of rewrites. This humongous manuscript still needs a lot of work. It's nowhere near completion. It is very much Frankenstein's Monster right now. But I'm so glad to at least get the complete story and plot out, and now I can chip at it, polish it, and hopefully something beautiful will come of it. Who knows?
Anyway... yeah, one last thing: