Thursday, January 13, 2011

Finishing a Novel

As my friends, and anyone who knows me on Facebook will tell you, I've been working on my "first" novel for a while.  I say "first" because there was one I wrote when I was about thirteen years old and horror novels were all the rage.  I entertained myself by writing a novel about a haunted school.  It ended up at around 300 pages, but I never did anything with it.  The handwritten pages from yellow legal pads got lost somewhere in the tumultuous time we call the teenage years.

As for the novel I've been working on, it's been a little over two years in the making.  I've written the bulk of it over this past year and it's veered off course from the original concept. That's good.  Not that there is anything wrong with the original concept, I just happen to think what I'm ending up with is richer and will make for a better read. It's like life. We make plans and then life happens and we find we're in a better place for it. 

My novel is about finding meaning in ones life.  Putting aside the superficial and looking for something deeper.  The idea began as I was also searching for the same.  It may have taken these two years because I've been learning the lessons just minutes before my characters did. Sometimes I learned the lessons as my fingers tapped away at the keyboard as if I were in a trance.  Those were the moments where I would finish the thought and get a chill as I realized something bigger than me was writing the story and directing the plot. 

So now I find myself wrapping up the first draft.  I'm going back and making sure I've answered all the important story questions and am moving toward the climactic finish.  The problem is that I'm dragging my feet.  I've fallen in love with these characters I've created and our time is coming to an end. I'm trying to savor every moment in every scene.  Of course I'll be spending lots of time with them as I begin the revision process, but it's just not the same. It's never like the first time. 

So, I must move on and finish the journey I've started, even if it will hurt so say goodbye.  Besides, my friends are starting to look at me like, "Sure you're writing a novel, you've been saying that for a while." 

Indeed I have.  The good news is that I have a whole new set of characters waiting for me in my next project.  Yes, I've already begun the next novel.  I get cranky if I don't have friends coming to life on a page. 

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