Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"And that's all there is. There isn't any more."

From my limited, biased and slightly snarky point of view, it seems to me that almost every young writer out there refers to the process of writing a book as "a journey."  Now, just because almost everybody does it does not make a thing undesirable--but it does annoy me just a tad when I see the word "journey" used to describe novel-writing.  Because that word is used to describe everything else under all nine planets (yes, there are nine--in my book, anyways.  Quit with the size discrimination, astronomers.).  As an alternative, I suggest "crazy-wild road trip" instead of "journey."  It packs a bigger punch.

Because really, writing a novel IS a crazy-wild road trip.  At least, mine was.  Now, Only a Novel isn't exactly the most adventurous, suspenseful, spinning-off-the-shoulder, edge-of-your-seat story out there (that's my sister's genre, not mine) but that doesn't mean I didn't have an exciting time writing it.  For the first time, characters that I had invented seemed incredibly real to me. I found myself dreaming about them, thinking about them almost constantly, imagining how they'd react in various situations.  They were the driving force behind my story, and believe me, they drove recklessly.  (Is anyone else enjoying all these road trip puns? No?  Just me?  You people have no sense of humor.)

At any rate, lovely fellow road-trippers, I finished my novel.

Clocking in at three hundred and fourteen pages, thirty-four chapters and 88,245 words (what a nice round number!), Only a Novel is finally complete.

And now I'm feeling that funny sort of happy-sad mixture of emotions.  On the one hand, I'm thrilled to have written an entire story, a tale of my own spinning featuring characters of my own creation.  But on the other hand, it's actually hard to say goodbye to those characters, to know that their story has been told and is now over.

Believe me, I got pretty close to them over the last eight months.  Are writers allowed to play favorites?  I don't care-- I favorited with reckless abandon, and this author's pet was unquestionably the hero of my story. Rodney Edgerton Burke, the carriage driver and stable hand who reads Dickens after work popped into my head one day in November when I realized that my novel had featured only female characters thus far.  I needed a MMC, and I needed him fast-- so I plucked the name Rodney off my Favorite Boy Names List, pasted Roger Hamley's face onto the name and plopped him down in the Crimp family's garden with a trowel in his left hand and a garden toad in his right.  And thus my favorite character of all time was born.

The Many Faces of Rodney.  (Extra-special hugs and chocolate-covered strawberries must go to my dearest Tween, who generously screencapped all the above pictures of Roger Rodney and sent them to me as a surprise.)
Probably my protagonist should have been my second favorite character at least, since she didn't make the top spot on the list, but the fact is that she has to take third place.  Lavinia Solange Vivian Bancroft, an extremely wealthy, beautiful young socialite and the FMC's best friend, is second in my estimation and I'm not sorry for it.  Lavinia was one of the very first characters I created, and I went through various stages of loving her and hating her.  She's a snob at times, but a lovable snob, and any scene was immediately made more fun to write if she was in it.  And when my book becomes famous and the BBC comes clamoring for the miniseries rights (heeheehee), I shall sell them the rights on one condition: Romola Garai must play Lavinia, for she simply IS Lavinia and no two ways about it.

Much gratitude to Miss Laurie for taking all these screencaps, and for
sending them to my Twinnie, who in turn sent them to me. :)
Last and, unfortunately, least in the top three is Elizabeth Sophia Markette, my protagonist.  I really do love her.  Just not quite as much as Those Two Up Above.   (You can read more about her here.)  She's a lot like me in some ways, and quite different from me in others, but I've grown quite close to her over the last eight months and I like her tremendously.

What would I do without my Tween?  Melody did most of these screencaps for me, again. :)
And now I've come to the end, and... well... it's time to say goodbye to this story.  Con te partiro... (and that's about all I know of the lyrics to that song despite having heard it several hundred times.  Heehee.)  Unless, of course, I decide to write a sequel someday.  But right now, I'm just luxuriating in the whole I've-actually-completed-this-project feeling.

It's quite delicious, really.


Molly said...

SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!! Hooray for Amy! I LOVE you! You have done a wonderful job with this book!

Melody said...

OOOOHHH. I already knew about this, of course, but for some reason when I saw this post I was still trembling with excitement... heehee. You have one nonsensical Twinnie. ;-) (Thank you, Mary.)

Heehee, after you start driving on the road yourself maybe road trip puns won't be as funny anymore.

Oh no, my dear, it is not over... it is just beginning. Besides, you could always write a sequel about Mercy. ;D

Did you just say chocolate-covered strawberries? Oooooh. I might just hold you to that, Miss Mildred. Also the hugs--but we've already covered that. ;D

Um, I would never sell anyone movie rights on one condition. Never. ;P

What did you do without your Tween... hmm... be low on screencaps, I guess. :D I am glad you could put some of those to use...

Anyways, know I've said this already, but...
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!! You're an amazing writer and I wish this book all the best. (What's that look for? I have no ulterior motives! :P) But it deserves a lot of attention, I quite honestly think. :)
Also, thank you very much for letting me sort of be a part of this! I've enjoyed every minute, and maybe that I've been able to keep a close eye on this project is a large part of the reason I feel so proud of you, my dear. =) Plus, it's just so interesting.
It's all VERY exciting.

But I think you have apprehended that I think that. Eh-heh.


Melody said...

By the way, what is the title-of-the-post quote from?

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

I just comment my extreme surprise and delight over at YAPDB so I'll only repeat Congratulations! And good work m'dear! I greatly admire your accomplishment in actually having a completed novel. I look forward to reading it very soon so I can find out much more about Rodney, Lavinia and Elizabeth!

P.S. You're very welcome for sending the Ramola Garai photos to Melody, I'm glad they were able to be put to such good use! :)

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Oooh! is that quote from the Madeline books? That series is very fun!
I looked it up because I didn't recognize that version of the saying. My dad uses "And dats all dair is, dair ain't no more!" frequently but I think that might be from a song.

Rachel Heffington said...

Awwww! Congratulations my own darling! :) I hope to read this book someday soon!

Hayden said...

Congrats! From reading your excerepts, I can totally see each of the actor/actresses playing that character- it's spot on :)

Alexandra said...

YAY!!!! Now when I read my copy-that-I-will-get :-P, I will be able to picture everyone. LOVE CASTING. :)


(hehe. I'm typing in the dark at the moment and wrote Ewwwwwww. Heheheheheheheheheeee.)