Tag Archives: novelist

Finishing the novel

You’d think there would be fireworks when you type the two very last words to the novel you’ve been working on every day, the one you’ve lost sleep over as you wake up at 4:30am – even on days you accidentally went to bed after midnight. It’s almost expected that the ceiling to the dining room where the computer sits will suddenly open up and cascade down balloons and confetti upon seeing those two words, interrupting the quiet you’ve tried so hard to maintain in those early hours with explosions and whistles in a celebration that the whole world you’ve created in over 100 typed pages suddenly makes sense, wrapped up in those two tiny words.

The. End.

I wrote them out this morning, tying a bow on the mess I’d created with characters who never asked to be born, but who behaved mostly beautiful in 25 chapters of chaos. I threw them to the wolves, breaking their hearts over and over. But I also promised them it would all make sense in the end, and to just hang around a bit longer to see where I was leading them.

“I have better plans for you than you know,” I promised them, playing god to these imaginary beings that became truly real within the confines of my imagination.

The. End.

There were no balloons, or fireworks, or confetti, or noisy horns. But here’s how it actually happened.

I brought my characters to their breaking point, placing them at the very edge where one wrong step meant certain death (kind of like a Bear Grills episode). And then, just when they were about to fall into the abyss of the situation, I plucked them out with my god-like reflexes, saving them from the depths of hell. Except the gratitude I received was more like a limp handshake, the visions I had of their miraculous recovery coming out in fits and spurts, not exactly translating well on the page. So I just wrote out what I could actually wheeze into typed out thoughts, crossing the finish line with the right amount of words (50,376 for NaNoWriMo, which amounts to 76,657 total words in 167 typed pages) and a promise that it would come out beautiful in the editing process.

At any rate, there it is. The shitty first draft of my novel is done, the bones to my magnificently beautiful final draft in the making. Year 3 of NaNoWriMo is a success.

And maybe I’ll just treat myself to a cupcake to make up for the missing fireworks. 🙂

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Hey, jealousy

It’s no secret that my ultimate dream is to be a novelist, as in making all my money from writing books rather than the 9 to 5. But until that happens, I have to work a regular job to make a living. The lucky part is that my job still revolves around writing. The bad part?

It revolves around writing.

After writing dozens of short articles a week, it takes its toll on the creative writing I want to get done. Two weekends ago I began writing the novel I’ve been planning out for the last month. I got a good 3,000 words in over two days time. And then I set forth the best intentions to write a little each day so I could have a rough draft finished by the time the wedding rolled around. One and a half weeks later, I still have 3,000 words.

I meant to wake up early every day to write a little bit before work. But I’d accidentally on purpose never set my alarm early enough. By the time I come home from work, the distractions mount up and I make excuse after excuse about why I shouldn’t even open my computer and start typing. The truth is, after a full 8 hours of writing about events around Sonoma County, making our entertainment website purty, and publishing other people’s articles on the web, the last thing I want to do is type away on my book – even while simultaneously wishing I could be doing JUST THAT with no distractions around me at all.

That’s why I feel like I have no right to be consumed by the green-eyed monster when I see local authors presenting their newly published novels around the county. But I totally am. I feel like it should be me in that smiling picture, holding a hard bound book with my name on it.

I think the biggest thing it comes down to is fear. I want this so bad I can taste it. But I’m so afraid to create a finished product in case it fails miserably, or I discover I’m really no good. What happens if I finish one of my rough draft novels and present it to various agents, only to be told its utter crap? It’s likely to happen, as it’s happened to many now-published authors. But I’m not sure I can handle it.

And then there’s that – making the feat of publishing a novel seem so far out of my reach. Regular people have written amazing books. I’m a regular person too, and I feel in my heart I’m capable of this too. But I keep placing this goal high up on a pedestal, ranking it up there with winning a Gold in the Olympics or becoming royalty.

It’s just a damn book, Crissi.

At any rate, this is me – a totally jealous, procrastinating, frozen in my own fear unpublished author. I better do something about changing that label quickly before it sticks…..