Finishing the First Draft

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve;
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.

(William Shakespeare, The Tempest, IV.i.148–158)

I have finished the first draft of my latest work in progress, and it is an amazing moment of bliss. It is also a little sad, because those characters that I have come to love so much have faded. As soon as I turn my computer off, they vanish, just as Shakespeare’s visions in The Tempest. That is the nature of fictional characters…they come to enchant us, then they step back into the dark, and new characters rise take their place.

The beauty of working on a novel, one of many, is that the first draft is just the beginning. I will start again tomorrow with the second draft, and the characters I’ve come to love will live for me again. I will have to be more analytical, more careful, the internal editor will be in full force, out of retirement with the red pen in her hand. But I’ll still get to enter another world, and when the book comes into my readers hands, hopefully they will be as enchanted by that world as I have been. That’s the goal, after all. Not just to tell ourselves these stories, but to offer them to each other.

2 Responses to “Finishing the First Draft

  • Sheila Boneham
    9 years ago

    Oh, that’s why you aren’t here this morning! 🙂

  • Christy
    9 years ago

    LOL! I’m working in a different spot today…still working though, of course. 🙂

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