Well, not yet.
However, I have finished the last of my in-flight edits on Billy the Kid: Down in the Dark (there's your tentative title), and have reached a threshold: I now have only 7 chapters left to write (longhand), before this beast is done.
And when I mean "done", I mean, of course, the first draft.
Because in something this large and epic, there's continuity issues to sort out, plot lines that sort of spontaneously died or merged or shifted that need to be cleaned and rearranged, whole scenes that need to be deleted, and lots of other minute details - because this is so mythic - that need to be aligned.
But I'm there. Standing on the threshold of finishing my first novel.
And I'm terrified. Of jinxing it. Of stalling. Of finishing it in a rush and a whirl, only to discover that some key element doesn't work, that I'll need to realign everything, once again. However, I have one HUGE thing going for me.
I outlined this thing.
I have the ending outlined. I know how it's going to end.
I'm not sure if it's a good ending. In fact, I wonder if the ending is a little anticlimactic (I think that, for better or for worse, my stories will always be more about their journeys than their endings. But those are my favorite kind of novels, so that makes sense). But, here's the OTHER amazing thing: I've not only crafted and outlined the ENDING to my first novel....
I've crafted and outlined the ending to the first novel in a proposed trilogy, and I didn't write the "cliffhanger ending." The story's cycle is closed, the plot's conflicts are resolved, and I could easily pitch this to a publisher as a standalone, while still dangling tantalizing, intriguing plot threads that will hopefully make readers and editors want to know MORE.
That, for me, is huge.
Now, I'm still rolling the trilogy around in my head, batting ideas around, but really, I'm just focusing on this first installment. I figure, once the first book is done, polished, ready to send out, then I can get down to the nitty gritty with the trilogy.
That's my dream, really. For Billy to be allowed growth past three books, become a Weird Wild West "Repairman Jack" or "Jack Reacher." We'll see. I'll just be delirious if the publisher I covet for this project will take it, in the first place.