And by “finished,” I of course mean “rough” and “ungainly” and “remarkably first draft-ish for having been built upon the skeleton of a previous incarnation of the novel,” but hot damnit if it isn’t still technically complete all the same.
I kind of thought I’d get there today and that it would be a types-last-word, hits-enter-with-a-flourish kind of thing that used to go so much better back when writing was done on typewriters, but it actually was just a situation where I got to this last scene marked in Scrivener as “to-do,” read through it, realized it wasn’t lending anything to the story at this point, and so I deleted it. And then I went, “Oh…”
And then I teared up a bit because I’m kind of silly like that.
And then I set my laptop down and stared at The Man until he got to a pause point in Skyrim and was all, “Crazy woman, why are you staring at me?” When I told him, he was very excited for me, and I stole him from his video game for a few minutes so we could cuddle, and I could just breathe for a few moments and go, “Phew!” We cracked open a beer to celebrate.
And then I announced it on Twitter – like you do.
I had no idea, when I started this rewrite back in September, just what it would entail. I honestly thought I would finish it within a month or so, no big deal. After all, the novel was there, and I still thought it was good – at least at the core of it – so I was just going to up the ages of the characters, truncate the timeline, add a couple of darker set pieces… No big deal, right?
Until it kept expanding, and more and more of it got cut in favor of new paragraphs and new scenes. Even a lot of the second half, which I felt was entirely usable, hit the cutting room floor as the story evolved and took on a new life. And that stuff wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t match up anymore.
I wrestled with scenes. I revamped characters. I cried out of frustration or when it felt like it was never going to get done. I positively lost my shit over the climactic final battle and bawled all over the couch, feeling absolutely exposed and unequal to the task. And when I was done, I sat down and wrote it anyway. It may not be Shakespeare, but it’s mine, and I’m happy with it and I made it with these hands.
A special thanks to the #WriteMotivation people, many who are listed on that and some who joined in on the epic hashtag of awesomeness after that point. Special thanks to K.T. Hanna, who is a bundle of cheerleading energy for other writers even as she’s cranking away at her own projects. I can’t tell you how much your guys’ support has meant to me, and I honestly don’t think I would be finished at this point without all of the amazing energy behind #WriteMotivation pushing me along.
YAY! I’m gonna go pass out now.