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I finished the first draft of This World We Live In Friday night, went to bed quite satisfied with myself, and woke up early Saturday morning and decided to junk much of what I'd written the night before. So I gave myself one more day of procrastination, returned to the ending of the book in the afternoon, and finished B3 for the second time Saturday evening.
In the Friday night version, probably because I was in a good mood, I didn't kill off Charlie. Saturday morning I realized without his death, things were a tad on the anticlimactic side (although I had come up with a nifty plot twist for those cursed safe town passes). I had originally planned for Charlie to fall, become paralyzed, beg for his death, get his wish, and Miranda would choose not to know who had put him out of his misery.
Now he just gets crushed to death, which makes the plot a little less unresolved.
The thing that fascinated me most was the Friday night version was 282 pages long, and the Saturday version, where I added Charlie's death, was 282 pages long. I have no idea how that happened. Then again, I don't really know how I wrote 282 pages, when every single day I had to work, I postponed and postponed and postponed again. But I definitely have a completed first draft, waiting for me to read it (which I will today, since I'm real curious about the book, having already forgotten most of what I've written).
After I read it, I'll put it aside for a week or so (this is a busy social week for me anyway, what with my birthday on Tuesday, lunch with my friend Geri on Thursday, and my cousin Danny's wedding on Sunday), and then reread it, noting where it needs work and where to put in chapter breaks. Then I'll do the rewriting/polishing. My guess is, now that I've killed off poor Charlie, that I'll need at least one more good Charlie scene, so the readers will be really upset when he dies. Charlie is a sweetheart of a character, but I don't recall him being that involved in the action for a stretch, and it could be helpful to throw him in a little bit more.
What did surprise me as I wrote was how involved Miranda and Alex got. I'd figured they'd have one little kiss, but whoo. By the end of the book, that one little kiss had turned into a lot more. I'm choosing not to know just how much more, but things do get pretty hot and heavy. Miranda does the pursuing, but Alex allows himself to get caught more than I had anticipated.
Syl, Matt's bride, also developed in ways I hadn't expected. I thought she'd be kind of a new agey airhead, and she has elements of that. But she's also a lot tougher than I'd originally intended, a lot more willing to confront reality (and to confront Mom).
And for those who worry about such things, there's religion all over the place- Sunday services and Bible study and hymn singing and the only religious character who doesn't make it is poor sweet Charlie. In fact, in celebration of the completion of the first draft, I think I'll go over to thirdmoonbook and put in Charlie's little sermon, so you can see what a darling he is.
And while you're at it, you can see what a darling I am also!