Achievement Unlocked

The novel’s done! It’s done it’s done it’s done it’s done!

Wrote the last 8,000 words or so in a white heat. Actually cried and shook at some of the things I was writing, at some of the pain the characters had to go through to get to the end.

But they made it, and so did I.

Going to take some time off writing and let my brain decompress…

Final word count: 139,528

Grinding Toward The End

126,154 words.

One of the characters surprised me again this week, committing an act I didn’t think they’d get to in this book, and triggering the start of the climax in the bargain.

For two full days (and 4,000 words) of writing after that point, it was smooth sailing. Words poured out of me, and I felt like I could do it, I could finish, I knew where things were going and every step of the way there.

That momentum slowed on Monday, died completely on Tuesday, and hasn’t come back yet. I continue to churn out words, and I still know exactly where things are going as it starts the final climb toward the climax, but I feel like I’m pushing the narrative uphill for each step of that climb, word by word.

I know that I’ll get there. It’s only a matter of time now, of sitting down and writing each days 1,000 words until I reach that point. That doesn’t make the work any easier, or give me any confidence that the final product will be worth reading.

But I am going to finish, dammit. If it turns out to be crap, well, that’s what the second draft is for, right?

Ooh, shiny!

The novel’s grown to 118,051 words.

Where last week felt like plummeting down the tracks in a mining cart, this week has felt like the slow climb upwards that follows. I keep thinking of new projects I could be working on instead of this one, shiny objects to distract me from finishing.

Just these past few days I’ve thought of two new novels to write and an iOS game to build. I’ve even caught myself starting to write dialogue in the voice of the narrator from a third novel (also as yet unwritten) while daydreaming.

I have to keep forcing my attention back to the novel I’ve got, the novel that every day gets longer and every day I feel like I have less grasp of.

Telling myself its okay for the first draft to suck is dangerous now, because my other projects come rushing in, tempting me with their promise of perfection. I know none of them will be perfect in the end, but I want it, I want to write something brilliant and moving that people will remember when I’m gone. I feel like I can see the flaws in my current work all too clearly, and I these distractions are my unconscious way of doubting that it’s worth finishing.

Hold on to Your Butts

That’s how I feel, like I’ve turned a corner in one of those old mining carts and found the tracks plunge down into the darkness. At the bottom, the climax is there, waiting for me. I couldn’t stop it happening now even if I tried.

So I’m holding on as best I can, gripping the sides of the cart as we hurtle down together, my characters and I. I only hope I can type fast enough to capture everything before we hit the bottom, and it’s all over.

Not Done

83,438 words. Still not done.

Close to, but not quite, 5,000 words more than last week. Well shy of the 90,000 words I wanted to have done by the end of this month.

If I manage to crank out 3,000 words today, and do a marathon session of 4,000 words tomorrow, I might just make 90K. I’ll have finally caught up with the flu week, but only if I steal 4 hours or so away from chores and errands.

And even then, I probably won’t be done.

I’m into the latter third of the book, but only a few hours into the final day. There’s so much left to have happen, so many events that also need description and character insight and reactions and justifications and dialogue, that…I think I might not be done till I reach 100,000 words, or more.

On the one hand: hooray for the little story that could, the story I thought would be over so fast I’d have to write three of them to hit the 50K word mark for NaNoWriMo.

On the other: ye gods, I can’t wait for this thing to be done.