Last night, I wrote out two words I’d been striving to reach since I started the journey of “Forever Thirteen” a little more than three months ago. To make the moment even more ceremonious, I had ditched the computer and scribbled the last 5,743 words into a spiral notebook, feeling every single word as it flowed from my pen. At one point, I had to stop and sob as a character received an answer to their issue that neither one of us had expected.
I’d holed up in my bedroom, using the bulk of my Sunday to finish the story. My husband came through the door as I was writing out the final thoughts of the novel. I held a finger up to him, signaling my need for him to wait before saying anything so that the spell wouldn’t be broken. And when it was done, I wrote THE END in large letters, circled it, and then held it up for my husband to see (actual picture above). Both of our eyes filled with tears at this moment – the cap of three long months of waking up early, writer’s block frustration, real life merging with fantasy worlds I’d created, and a lot of really, really hard work.
Yesterday’s total word count ended up being 7,026 – the most I’d ever written in one day (making the grand total 80,877). But I knew if I stopped, the ending would have been fragmented.
Because I “wrote like a motherfucker“, the ending was better than anything I ever planned for.
I started this journey on May 27th, 2013. I hadn’t planned on writing it, but questions were left unanswered in the first book, “A Symphony of Cicadas”. One of my friends inquired about the possibility of a sequel, and I insisted that there would be none. I had other books I wanted to write, and one in the hopper that I’d been dying to edit and turn out. My actual words to her were, “There probably won’t be a sequel, because where does one go after this ending?”
Apparently, a lot of places.
A month later I had a skeleton of an outline mapped out and began typing the very first words to a story that would take me 100 +/- days to complete. In that time, the outline changed drastically. I even started over about a month into the project, The original storyline becoming much darker than I’d planned. So with my teenage daughter’s help, I came up with a friendlier storyline that twisted and turned in the mind of a teenage boy caught in the afterlife – telling his story as we (the character AND the author) discovered new things about him.
There’s still a lot more to go before this story becomes a full-fledged book. Editing is a finicky process that may strip the story of scenes I once thought vital, perhaps even characters who end up being more of an intrusion than a help to the storyline. But the bones are there, waiting to be shaped into something beautiful. And when it’s done, I know I’ll have another novel I’m proud of to share with the world.
P.S. To celebrate the rough draft finale of “Forever Thirteen,” I’m offering book #1 of the series, “A Symphony of Cicadas,” for 99 cents for Kindle. Download your copy today —-> http://amzn.to/16qHpm0