Wow, what an amazing feeling! It's been so long since I've finished something that I almost forgot what it's like. To actually be able to write "THE END." And underline it, and star it. Because this is a Big Moment. Sure, I still have a very extensive re-write to do. Sure, after that I'll need to draft a query letter. Sure, after that I'll have exhausting, demoralizing, and depressing rejections to get through. Sure, after THAT I'll probably re-write again, and again...but this is the first big step in the way of getting one of my novels published. Ooh. What writer doesn't get a chill down their spine at that thought?
I started this novel when I was 16, which is ridiculous. Six and a half years ago! Yes, I took a big break (about 4 years) in the middle, so it's not like it's taken me that long of steady work to produce a rough draft (I'd never be a professional novelist at that rate!). That's still a long time. I'm so glad I didn't give up on this one. Despite all the flaws that I know it has (and that I'm just itching to go and find and FIX), this is much better than my first two manuscripts. So, with a happy heart, I'm on the next task. It seems a lot more doable now.
Rough estimate (based on counting a couple pages and averaging them, which is probably wildly off due to changing handwriting, pens, etc), the draft clocks in at 53k. I know it's not a lot, but I also plan to enrich it during my re-write. I don't go into too much detail at first, and I've not given the subplots as much space as they deserve. So I'm expecting my finished draft to be over 60k, and hopefully more like 70k. I know it's short, but I also know that short can actually help in publishability, so I'm not worried (yet).