Peeps, I did it.
I finished Draft Three (aka: The Draft That Wants to Kill Me) of Beasts. And I did it without dying, so I feel like I should get extra points for that.
And I’ve recovered ALL of my files from my dearly departed laptop due to the tireless efforts from some of my amazing church family members (needless to say, there was much relief and thanking God). Also, I kind of owe a life-debt to the people involved with the finding and preserving of said files.
Instead of telling you about Beasts itself (because that would make sense), I’m going to tell you how the last week of my life was like trying to finish this beast (oh, see what I did there?).
To put it frankly, this draft was really hard.
Here’s a bit of backstory: Draft One was written back in 2015, and let me tell you, it was awful (is “plotless” one word or two?). A marginally better Draft Two came out in 2016, but I don’t like to speak of that draft.
Draft Three is where all the heavy lifting happened. I took about 5,000 words from Draft One, maybe 8,000 words from Draft Two, and then I scrapped the rest (yeah, that was tough). Work on Draft Three lasted six months, and all that work boiled down to this past week when I faced a hard deadline.
The Story of How I Got a Hard Deadline:
Me to me: You can’t watch Beauty and the Beast until you finish Draft Three.
Me: What? You wouldn’t?
Me to me: Wanna bet?
Then I came up against The Face of Great Distraction.
The Face of Great Distraction:
I knew I was avoiding my novel when Graham said to me: “Rosalie, I’ve been stalking this mouse hole for three days now. You should help me hunt this tasty morsel.”
But instead of saying: “Graham, you don’t speak English, and I have to finish this draft,” like a normal person would, I said: “Oh, great idea, Precious! I’ll bring coffee and my BB gun, and it’ll be just like old times when you were a kitten!”
After two hours of our stakeout, I had to face the reality that it was all in my head and that I needed to get back to finishing Draft Three. That’s when My Precious gave me this look:
Okay, I did not spend two hours on a stakeout with Graham, but let me tell you I THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
But, guys, in The Face of Great Distraction, I prevailed.
It was making coffee at 9:30 pm some nights to fuel me for a night of writing. It was getting up at 4:00 am (aka: Stupid Early) to write before work some mornings. It was coming up against all kinds of fear and hate for my story and writing anyway.
It was reviewing my outline and throwing out what no longer seemed to work. It was word wars with lovely writing friends (a shout out to Brittany, Katie, and Nadine). It was taking a break to write a flash fiction and then coming back to my novel after a week with fresh drive.
It was my sister asking “Are you going to write?”. It was sharing my wordcounts with my dad and him cheering me on. It was my mom telling me some nights that I needed to sleep instead of write because I really needed the rest and my writing would be better for it.
It was praying for God’s hand in this story more every day. It was realizing that since He’s given me the green light, I need to go, no more indecision, no more fear.
It was hard, and my novel still needs a lot more work.
There are still several more drafts to come, but it’s finally starting to look like a story. When I read it next week, it’ll probably be awful, but it’s so much better than it was.
The Draft That Wants to Kill Me is finished.
It came to just over 93,000 words (a number I hope will shrink with more editing), 33 chapters, and an epilogue.
And for those of you who have made it to the end of this babbling post, here’s an aesthetic board and then the premise of Beasts (so I guess I’m telling you a little about Beasts after all…).
Premise: a retelling of Beauty and the Beast told in the words of the witch who cursed the Beast.
Let’s chat, peeps. What are your struggles with your WIP? What part of the writing process are you in right now? What are the faces of your distractions?
P.S. – seriously though, guys, Graham’s face in that last picture causes me some concern.