A storm of words struck. Three thousand, thirty-one hundred more were added when I’d finished after typing and revising, but that was it. The muses said, “It’s done. Type, the end.”
Really? It’s done?
Well, no. Writers know that more remains after typing the end on a draft. Like having a baby, delivery is just another step in the process. There’s the afterbirth and then, life.
(And yeah, writing a novel isn’t as painful as childbirth. I know it’s a weak simile. The point isn’t about pain, but process.)
There’s uncertainty, finishing a novel, for me. Officially, this is the fourth draft. Unofficially, many parts of it were written multiple times, worked and reworked, trying to mold it into something that follows the three c’s: comprehensible, compelling, and coherent. I don’t know if I succeeded. I’m flush with the emptiness of finishing and the uncertainty of what I’ve finished. I’ll need to re-work all of this tomorrow that was done today; that’s my practice. Then I’ll go back to the start and begin again, reading, reviewing, revising, looking for holes, confusion, and weaknesses. Many likely abound.
I like the characters. They’ve been good to me. I’ll miss them, if this is done. I’ll miss their voices saying, “And then I say this and think that and did this, and then that happened to me.”
Looking back on a couple posts that I wrote about the process, it’s fun to note how cracking some aspect of it seemed more satisfying than finishing writing it. It sort of makes sense, as writing a novel, for me, is a puzzle to be solved. Working on it is the challenge. Finishing it means that the challenge is done.
As always, writing a novel has been an entertaining experience. I want others to read and enjoy it. I want it to challenge their thinking as it challenged mine, and to provide them an escape as it has provided me. That’s a whole other process, getting it out there where others can enjoy it. That’s a more daunting challenge.
Final counts. Time – started November 1st, 2019, finished March 1st, 2020. Wrote almost every day, as I was forced to take time off for holidays and illness. One hundred eighteen thousand words, three hundred ninety pages, and uncounted hours of thought.
Yes, and final working title (who knows if it’ll hold?): Other Moments, Different Times, a speculative novel about life and memory, with science fiction nuances.
The coffee cup is empty but the coffee shop has become noisy with socializing and music. It’s cold outside, despite the sunshine, but it’s time to walk and reflect, time to stop another day of writing like crazy, at least one more time.