After re-writing the ending three times, I finally finished the first draft — the “shitty first draft” to use Anne Lamot’s terminology — of Matters of Doubt (~85,000 words).  I started this book in earnest in May of 2010, so it has been a long haul.  The good news is that it’s done, and that’s the bad news, too.  Now the hardest work begins — what to leave in and what to cut.

I printed out a hardcopy and plan to set it aside over the holidays.  It is very hard not to dive back in, but I’m resisting the urge for at least three weeks.  I want to take a fresh look.  I’ll read it through quickly to check the flow of the story and then go back through with a sharp scapel.  Meanwhile, I have the draft out to two people who’s judgment I trust.  One is my younger daughter, who’s taking a creative writing track in college.  She’s wise beyond her years.

Stay tuned.  I’ll let you know how the editing goes…