it’s a full (ish) manuscript. Yesterday I sent out Part II of the book to my professor, which means I had to print out Part II, which means I had to (couldn’t help it) stack it up with Part I to see how it, um, stacked up.
In fact the moment was not as satisfying as it might have been, because I didn’t really finish Part II. It’s mostly there, but there are a few scenes missing. I just skipped to the end… which is cheating, but you know, I had a deadline and I wasn’t going to meet it. So there you are. Also, I am pretty dissatisfied with the last couple of chapters…I know they aren’t my best work. It’s all very rough, and I got in the habit of summarizing and paraphrasing to get through it faster. I know The Professor is going to tell me to put it all “in scene.” (That’s one of those MFA program nonfiction workshop mantras.)
But there’s still time, although it’s ticking down, and quickly. I’ve got about six weeks until my thesis defense, which is when the final, shining, polished manuscript must be complete.
For now, the book is now about 240 pages, and weirdly, only 72,000 words. That number, when I noticed it the other day, was mildly disappointing. Novels aren’t considered full novels until they hit 75,000 words, and so it would seem that despite my 240 pages, I have written the travel memoir equivalent of the novella. (Memolla? Mini-moir?) Not that there’s anything wrong with that.