Monday, January 21, 2013

My two favorite words




The End

Okay, I really happen to hate those words in the context of someone else’s book, but in my own, I love writing those words. So, as you might have guessed, I got to type those words at the end of a really long first draft process this weekend.

I love to run stats because I’m a total nerd. I was pretty much born a nerd. When I was seven my brother said, “Whatever you do, don’t talk like that when you get to Pomolita [the middle school we went to], everyone will think you’re a nerd.” And I am. So here they are, the stats:

Title: THE PRINCESS SINGULARITY
Genre: YA Fantasy (it’s a portal fantasy, so that’ll limit my potential agent audience)
Words: 112,000 (but I’m probably going to replace about 100,000 of them, so still a ton of work to do).
Start Date: June 16th, 2012
End Date: January 19th, 2013
Words per day: 525 (I didn’t write on it for 120 of those days, so it’s really 1200 words per day)

Times I considered giving up on this novel: 0
Times I worried that it wouldn’t matter because this book could never be The One no matter how much I revise it: 112,000


Right, so after finishing a novel there’s something you have to do with it. Put it away. I’m putting this one away and I’m not going to open it for six weeks. In the mean time, I’m going to take a stab at my absolutely unpublishable novel, and see if I can do anything with it. And once that project is moving or not, it’ll be time to start my next project. It already has a name, but I think I’ll hold off on the details just yet. In the mean time, I have to go bask in the glory of the awesomeness that comes with finishing a novel, you know the part where you’re all “I’m done! I’m done!” even though, it’s really just the beginning of the road. Man, novel writing is hard, long work. Why do I love it so much?

So my question of the day is, considering that finishing a first draft isn’t the end, do you celebrate finishing a first draft and, if you do, how? Let me know.

24 comments:

  1. That's really good going, well done. I hope your edits go smoothly and you don't really replace 100,000 words :-)

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    1. I hope I really don't replace my 100,000 words, but the sad truth is that of the first 30,000 words, only about 5k get to stay. Of the next 30,000 words, maybe 8K gets to stay. And of the final 50K, only 10K can stay, and only if they shape the heck up. So yeah, it ain't pretty.

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  2. I don't celebrate it, I commemorate it with a sit down and a bottle of beer...or four.

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    1. Ah, a nice bottle of beer. I've often thought about having a christening party for my novels. But where do I break the champagne? On the computer? on the manuscript? Ah well, maybe that's why novelists don't do it that way.

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  3. Congratulations on finishing! I say celebrate, even if it's just a really good treat. :)
    My favorite stat up there: "Times I considered giving up on this novel: 0"
    Awesome!

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    1. Thanks, I have to admit that even though I never thought about giving up (I *had* to write this new version of my novel), I did spend a lot of time waffling about trying to decide if it was really "worth it."

      The jury is still out, but I am too much in love with this story to do anything else.

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  4. Congrats!!! I absolutely celebrate. It's finally in one piece. So even if I cut tons of it or rewrite 100,000 of the words I've already written, it is a "book". And I celebrate with dancing around awkwardly and chocolate.

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    1. Yes! Exactly. I notice a lot of people dance about awkwardly, but I'm going to say, I call all ya'all's bluffs. I doubt you're half as awkward as you think.

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  5. Yay you!!! And I'm totally envious of your nerdiness! I sooo want to be a nerd, but I'd have to be a nerd w/out the required brain mass, lol,so I guess I'll just not go there. Enjoy your six weeks of brain refreshing. :)

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    1. Oh, don't sell yourself short. I'm daffier than a daffodil convention, so you don't need brain mass to be nerdy. In fact, the other day, I walked up to my office door whipped out my key and pushed the button. My office door didn't open. I pushed the button again, perturbed. Still the door didn't open. I cocked my hip and huffed at the door... then I realized I was trying to use the key fob to my car on my office door. Oh yeah, that was me.

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  6. i don't draft...don't shoot, don't shoot!!

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    1. Huh, you don't draft? Now I'm curious about your process...

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  7. Nice! Way to go, Rena!

    Writing those final words is the best feeling in the word. Enjoy it! :)

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    1. Oh man, it sure is. I don't know how it took so long, but this one just lasted forever. So glad to get a break from it, gain some perspective.

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  8. Yay, Rena! Congrats on finishing, and yes, good luck with all the um, "work" to follow. I think "The End" is the best and worst phrase ever--even on my own books. I LOVE editing something to death, so to put the final stamp, the final "I'm done," bring immense sorrow. And joy. But I hate first drafts. Still, when I finish one, I take a whole week off to just hang with my family and pretend that awful thing isn't sitting on my computer, taunting me with its ugly promises of long hours and agonizing "why!?!"s.

    Oh, and cheese. I eat cheese. Foreign cheese--expensive cheese. =) Enjoy your six weeks.

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    1. Oh, I am such a big fan of expensive cheese! If I had all the money in the world, I'd basically eat bread and cheese with an occasional bit of vegetable and steak.

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  9. Woo hoo! High five!!
    And yep, i always do a "finished draft dance". It includes arm flailing and weird jerky movements. Because i can't dance

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    1. That's awesome. I should add happy dance to my celebration repertoire. Currently it's the arms in the air, I-scored-a-goal-thing

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  10. Congratulations!! I have a bittersweet relationship with "finishing" a story, because part of me really loves throwing the words down the first time and really loathes the editing and revising after to make it all work... :)

    Enjoy your break and refresh your mind!

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  11. I celebrate by putting it away and writing whatever new idea has been nagging at me. But before that I take off writing :)

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  12. I celebrate the end of a first draft with a dance. By my desk. Where no one can see me. ;)

    Congratulations!

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  13. Congrats on finishing! It's the best feeling! I love your stats. :) :) :)

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  14. Absolutely celebrate! The End is a beautiful place to be for a writer. :)
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks I'm crazy for never considering giving up.
    This might sound boring, but when I finish a big project I usually indulge in ridiculous amounts of sleep. I have to give up a lot of sleep to get there, so it feels like such a luxury.
    And then I start another project ...

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  15. i celebrate every ending, every draft completed, every editing round, every query sent! here's to getting to the ends!

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