Finally finished sketching out the end of Swamp Thing. Granted, it's rough draft, and it's probably the roughest rough draft I've ever done. In the end it was 45,880 words, which is not long enough. There's still a scene unwritten - hell, probably a lot of scenes unwritten.

Usually I'd like to let a draft lie fallow for six weeks before starting the rewrite. I can't do that this time - my deadline is Dec. 1. The good news is that the rewrite is always much more fun than the first draft. The framework is there - now I get to play. Description, characterization, additional detail, the little tidbits that turn a story into a world.

My characters always change over the course of the first draft, but this book took that concept and ran with it. Kancethedrus in particular bears only the thinnest resemblance to the man I thought he was when I began. Alesia softened a bit too much, I think - and her resurrection needs to have a stronger effect on her. Tam's personality blended a bit too much with Kancethedrus - I need to work with him more. And the secondary characters are a bit too much out of pseudo-Tolkein Central Casting - they need some flesh on those bones.

But I can do all that. It's going to be a busy six weeks, but I can do it. And I'm having fun doing it.

I'll break out the wineglass tonight, but the ritual feels like a cheat. It always does - I never feel "done". I wonder if I'll ever finish a first draft and feel done. I wonder if I'll ever finish it and not think, "Well, that sucks."