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
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7 thoughts on “It’s finished! The anatomy of a novel, from start to THE END.”
Celebrating with you!!! – Marie Millard
Thank you Marie!
Congrats. It is a good feeling alright.
It totally is. I feel like I can breathe again with the weight of the novel lifted off of me! I didn’t even realize how consumed I was until I wrote THE END, and could suddenly think again, lol!
Congratulations! I know the feeling and your happiness made me smile. And the best part – you like you ending!
Of course the work is “never” really done. Now you have to polish it with your writer’s group ( I hope you have a good one) and then … there’s the editing -publishing process. But you know all this since you’ve published before,
To help you celebrate I’ll go download “Symphony of Cicadas”. Cheers!
Thanks Cinda! Yeah, about twice the work is now staring me in the face. But it’s still a huge relief to have the basics of the story down. 🙂