Monday, December 2, 2013
Truman Capote once said that finishing a novel you'd been working on is like taking a favorite child out to the back yard and shooting it. And while I wouldn't quite go that far (or that gruesome), I'll admit that the past few weeks have been a little bit numb, writing-wise, for me.
Because I finished the Rochesters' story on Tuesday, November 12th and now their first draft is complete. (Two hundred and thirty-one pages, 83,658 words, twenty-three chapters and a doggone lot of tea... that last item being consumed by the author and not actually incorporated into the manuscript itself.)
I spent a year and a half of my life getting that first draft finished (stop looking at me like that, all you eighty-thousand-words-a-month people) and though a Matterhorn of editing looms before me, I still feel as though a part of my life has ended. An epoch, to state it Anneishly. A bend in the road beckons. The Rochesters still need a ton of revamping and possibly even an extra chapter (some really good suggestions from my beta-readers have convinced me that at least one plot point needs replacing, plus an epilogue may be in order), so they're definitely not done yet, but I do feel as if a part of them has been finished.
And because of that, I found it hard to get into the groove with another project during November. My goal was to add 50,000 words to my Jennifer story, but since the Rochesters occupied the first twelve days of November, Jennifer got pushed aside more than I meant her to be.
All in all, I wrote 46,141 words during NaNoWriMo, so I didn't "win" in the end.
Yet I'm completely and totally happy, because, you guys, I finished the first version of a novel. I've only ever done this one other time in my life, and it's a heady, spin-y, ring-out-the-bells-upon-this-day-of-days-y feeling. My plans for the month got skewed, but who cares? I've got my story all in one piece, and I'm really, really stoked about fixing it up and making it presentable for company. (Also, it needs a real title. Because The Rochesters just isn't cutting it.) Editing, here I come!
...Along with work on the first draft on the sequel, of course. Because there's nothing like finishing a novel to make you want to write another about the same characters. I can't just leave them all at the end like that, now can I? Certainly not. The Rochesters are speeding forward to the next summer and getting set to conquer the wild West-- and I'm making another cup of tea.
P.S. Oh, and Jennifer hasn't been forgotten, either. I'm still plugging along with her tale in bits and pieces... the Rochesters kind of have my attention at present but Jennifer's hanging in there. More on her in a future post, 'kay? Thanks muchly to all of you for your sweet support and for being so patient with me as I took a month's hiatus!