Day 189 – 1st draft complete!

Day one hundred eighty-nine of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words for Days 188 and 189: 1,700

I did it! I finished the first draft. Twenty-one chapters over a little more than six months, and it’s done. Things got a bit wobbly the last couple of days as I tried to finish it. It was more difficult to bring the story to an end than I had anticipated. Fortunately, I think it turned out well.

Now that the first draft is done, I’m excited to start reading, revising and re-writing. I do not have a solid sense of the best way to proceed with this stage, so I plan to do a lot of reading up on the subject over the next couple of weeks. And while I have been keeping track of my word count and general progress over the last six months of this Project, now I am faced with no way to quantify my ongoing work. But I don’t think that matters anymore. It’s all part of the process of writing. I will continue to blog about my daily work on writing my first novel, whether I’m reading, writing or revising it.

Day 187 – Getting the groove back

Day one hundred-eighty seven of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words for Days 186 and 187: 500

It has been tough to get into a groove writing the last chapter of my book. The fast-paced adventure is over. The characters are returning to where they came from. The story is…well, it’s still going, but it is definitely making me re-think my plans for the ending.

The good news is, I can sleep on it. And that is exactly what I plan to do. If I have learned anything about writing fiction, it’s that the story can change very quickly no matter what plans the writer may have. So I’ll leave it where it is tonight and come back to it tomorrow. Chances are, the groove will come back too.

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow

Day 185 – The end is near

Day one hundred eighty-five of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 950

I’m writing the ending of my book. It’s the final chapter and although I am not completely sure how I will end it, I’m close. I should be done in the next few days and because of this, I’m experiencing a broad range of emotions. Mostly, it feels amazing to be this close to the end. But I also feel a little sad that the story – my story that I have been weaving for many months – is coming to an end.

I know it isn’t really ending, since I have a long road of revising and re-writing ahead of me. The story will even change and morph into something different than it is now. So of course, it isn’t over. There may even be a continuation in a series for me to write.

But I still feel a sort of loss I don’t quite understand right now. And that’s okay. I suppose I will understand it more when I’m truly finished with the book. Because then, I will have told the story. It will will be memorialized in print for me and hopefully others to read and enjoy anytime they want. That is, after all, the point in writing it.

Day 183 – Gratification oozes in anticipation of the book’s ending

Day one hundred eighty-three of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 2,000

I wrote an almost even 2,000 words tonight as I closed the loop on the story. The thrilling adventure through which my protagonist has been hurtling officially came to an end. So did Chapter Twenty. And now, I should only have one more chapter to write. That’s it. After that, my first draft will be done.

A sense of pure gratification is oozing from my core. I can’t believe I’m almost done.

Until I start re-writing and revising, of course.

Day 141 – Ending a chapter in suspense

Day one hundred forty-one of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 1,100

I ended Chapter Sixteen on a suspenseful note tonight, which leaves me excited to write the beginning of Chapter Seventeen tomorrow. I can’t help but wonder and hope…if while I am writing I feel the suspense and can’t wait to turn the page to continue writing, will readers experience those same feelings?

It is hard to know while in the midst of writing how a reader will feel about a scene. Everyone perceives descriptions differently. Everyone experiences different feelings from the words they read. But suspense? I tend to think that everyone perceives suspense equally.

When a scene is deliberately written to offer the reader some insight into what is coming next and the scene ends before what’s next actually comes, the reader can feel the suspense. That’s what I would like to think, anyway. True or not, I leave for bed happy and charged for writing tomorrow. And that is a good feeling I haven’t had in a while. Thank you, suspense.