The end is only the beginning

About 24 hours ago I typed the last sentence of the first draft of my second novel. That makes sense, right? It took about 8 months for me to finish this one, which is a vast improvement over my first one, which took three years. This new one is also 10,000 words longer, which I’m not sure is a good thing, but since it’s the first draft, it may not stay quite that long.

Of course, I was excited. I am pretty passionate about this book, moreso than I ever was about my first one. Not that I didn’t enjoy my first novel, there was just a lot less excitement in that one. It was more reflective, and probably what my first novel needed to be. It will probably remain shelved forever, as most first attempts do. But I digress.

The ending was as ridiculous as I knew it would be. I am reading a book called “How Not to Write a Novel,” by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman, and tonight I opened it to see that I was on a chapter called “Endings.” As much as I enjoy reading the book and realizing that I avoided many of the common mistakes novice novelists make, I also recognized myself in some of the descriptions, especially in the section on backstory overpowering what is currently going on. I need to cut my ending by half. I know that already. More about that later though. 

I am forcing myself to take a short break before I begin my first round of revisions. See, for me, the easy part is the writing. I can do what I want the first time around. It just spills out. I hate revisions. With a passion. Now, every time I read through, which I have done several times already just to make sure things are making sense, I change things. Phrasing here, a character there. But usually small changes. This first round of revisions will be major surgery. Cutting my baby apart to make a better baby. Okay. Ew. Perhaps I should try a different analogy next time.

I know that making Frankenbook is necessary, but ugh. I also know I should be taking time to celebrate the accomplishment of writing another book, but it’s hard when I know the road ahead of me. It’s like I’m Dorothy, and I’m following the yellow brick road, and I’ve just finished this part of my journey and I look up to find I’ve only barely reached the edge of Munchkinland. There’s a whole lotta yellow brick road ahead of me, and many obstacles before I can reach the Wizard, who will, of course, grant me whatever I wish as long as I kill the witch. Or something like that. I’m not sure where I’m going with this. It’s kind of late to be writing an entry, but I wanted to write before I head out of town for the weekend.

So really, I am excited to be finished, but the road is long, and my journey is just beginning. First comes revisions, then beta readers and critique partners, then more revisions, and some revisions, then querying and rejection and crying and eating my feelings and maybe, just maybe, something amazing will happen after all of that. I have hope. Regardless, I will continue to write. It’s what I do 😉

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