I am pleased to announce that I have a complete draft of the next installment of the Mrs. Hawking series, part V: Mrs. Frost. I finished it just before the beginning of September, and with the very first reading scheduled for the 2nd, I spent the week leading up to it cleaning up the first version into something I wouldn’t be embarrassed to show people. I very much rely on the “garbage drafting” method, where you give yourself permission to write whatever you need to, no matter how awkward or bad, in order to just make sure you have a complete beginning, middle, and end. I go on to edit from there, and because I find it most effective to fix something imperfect that exists than try to do it the way I want it on the first try.

The reading, as always, was incalculably helpful. I really need the outside perspectives of intelligent, discerning fellow writers and actors to tell me what would bring the piece up to standards. I even had a number of new attendees this time around who had never attended one of my reading dinners before, which meant fresh viewpoints. I’m incredibly grateful to Jennifer Benfield for offering her house to host, and in addition to her, for the thoughts of Nuance Bryant, Shari Caplan, Jack Cockerill, Naomi Ibatsitas, Matt Kamm, Cari Keebaugh, Isaiah Plovnick, Circe Rowan, and Pieter Wallace. I was very pleased to hear that the script has good bones, but I need to up the sense of stakes in order to make it feel more significant, and handle the arc of one of the characters differently. They even gave me solid, actionable suggestions for how to accomplish those things.

I took several days’ break from it, but today I beginning to dig into the editing process. I recorded all the feedback discussion so I can reference it. I find editing way more challenging than drafting, so it’s not easy for me to get going. But we’ll be going into rehearsal for it within the next months, so I need to have a solid draft of the script plenty in time to get started. Wish me luck!