Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Finish Line

Is less of a line than a hastily drawn maze consisting of a series of squiggly intersecting lines. Those lines might lead to a bunch of dead ends that don't actually connect but until you start drawing your path you won't know.

That's the ending of my novel, in a nutshell. It is messy, it was rushed, it more than likely has a whole lot of lose ends that seriously need to be tied up (I think I got one of my MCs out of coma by accidentally knocking a get well plant on him, I'm not sure because it was one in the morning by the time I conceded to end the damned thing and go to bed.  And no, I don't care that that's technically one hour over the dreaded midnight deadline- I'm counting it!)

HOWEVER- and this is the important point here- it's DONE. My ending, while incomplete and messy and possibly even slightly nonsensical at the end, is actually written. And while it may require extensive work to be anything near what I pictured it to be while writing it it's at least there. It exists. And of all the novels I have written (and this is number 3), this is the only one I can say that about. For the first time- ever- I actually finished a novel in November.

Here are the stats: Before last night's writing session I had a total of 52, 371 words. After last night's month end blow-out I have a total of 59,576. That means that last night over the course a mere four hours I wrote 7,205 words. In four hours! I can't help but be a little impressed with myself.

It was nothing like any of the other writing sessions I've ever had. I wasn't aiming for word count, I wasn't trying to think of the next scene, I wasn't typing without any real sense of where I wanted my words to take me. It was like running down a busy sidewalk- I had somewhere I needed to be. So yeah, it was chaotic and frenzied and I'm sure I tripped up a bunch of times but I ran. And I got to where I wanted to end up.

So even though I have daymares of reading the thing and finding a Swiss cheese- like number of plot holes, or characters that are even less than one dimensional, or scenes that make no sense whatsoever I can at least say that the first draft has been written. And I've never been able to say that before.

Which makes this the single biggest accomplishment I've had as a NaNoWriMo writer thus far. Because all the pep talks and all the encouragement and all the writing buddies and all the group writing sessions and all the web videos and all the stuff that goes into making NaNoWriMo such an amazing event actually led me to complete my own personal goal. Beyond the arbitrary word count number, beyond the fun of just participating. I set a personal goal and I reached it. So regardless of what happens next I am pretty damned proud of myself.


  1. Congratulations on closing the draft, Bev. That's a big step. Pride's immediate, and clean up can begin tomorrow if you want. I've been joking with some people that 2012 is going to need to be National Novel Editing Year.

  2. You know, I've been thinking about that as a logical next step for milestones... But I don't think I would want to edit this novel. But maybe one of the other unfinished ones...

  3. Da Bev, that is awesome! Well done indeed! Can't wait until I get an ending written for this thing - but thanks to you I now know what that ending will be.


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