Bring Me to Life: The Joy of Finishing the First Draft

The main character of my novel SONG OF A SOPHOMORE resided in my head for many years, and, until recently, inside my MacBook. But, I am proud to say, the teenage protagonist Josephine “Rose” Blakeway is now alive on the page. It’s no wonder the Evanescence song  “Bring Me to Life” has chased me around since I recommitted myself to completing this novel back in September of 2018. Seriously, it’s an older song, but I hear it on the radio when I’m thinking about my book while driving the kids to school or it pops up on my Spotify app when I know I should be writing instead of doing the dishes. The universe works in mysterious ways.

Now, five months later, here she is all polished and printed ready for editing (all 87,000 words). I am so proud of this moment. It has been a long road to get to this point and countless late nights and afternoons typing at my daughters’ dance classes while the other moms socialize.  There is still much work to be done to get this beautiful girl ready for the ball–or just edited and ready to pitch to a literary agent and eventual publisher–but holding the first draft of the manuscript in my hands means I am on my way. Yay, me!

Honestly, I’ve already done some edits. Part of my process is writing a chapter, then rereading and editing several times before moving on to the next chapter. Some writers swear by writing straight through without revising, but I’m a bit of a perfectionist and also find editing throughout the process makes me a better writer. To each his own!

I will keep smiling and working at this with the hope that Rose will find her way into the hearts and minds of young adult readers, if I am so lucky.  Thanks to my family for your support, especially my husband, who will be the first to meet “Rose.”  I hope you get to meet her soon, too.


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