Success! I had a very productive Sunday. I wrote 10 pages of my middle-grade novel, including finishing the climactic chapter and writing the first half of the last chapter of the book. All I have left is the second half of the chapter and the epilogue. (The book has a prologue, so the epilogue will wrap up the story arc started in the prologue.)
It feels good. I’m almost there. After all the work, thought, planning, aching, obsessing, I’m close to finishing my first novel.
Of course, I’m really not close to finishing at all. Typing The End the first time will be wonderful, but I won’t be cracking open champagne and sending it out to publishers for a while. Oh no! I have pages of notes of things that I missed or changes that have to be made earlier in the book based on things I wrote later. When I started writing the novel, I was constantly editing, which had its advantages. Just as many writers say that the third chapter you write is generally the first chapter of the book, that’s how mine was. And I revised and revised those opening chapters a lot. But after a while, I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere, and I decided to just get to the end of the first draft then go back and revise. (My husband had been telling me this for ages, but it wasn’t until I read it in a few articles that I finally decided to do it. Isn’t it always that way?)
And now, I’m very close to finishing the first draft. It’s a good feeling. One of accomplishment, but also nervous anticipation. I started writing a novel when I was in college — for adults, not children — but I lost the flow of it after a computer melt down deleted a couple chapters. So, it was never finished. When I wrote screenplays, it was very satisfying to get to the end of one, but, not to say writing screenplays is easy because to do it well is not easy — it’s a very specific skill — they were 120 pages at most, with lots of white space. My novel right now is at 157 pages, and I’m not finished yet. This novel is definitely the biggest project I’ve ever written, and coming to The End, even if it won’t be the last time for this story, is pretty cool.
How was your weekend writing? Are you on an up or a down?