Thursday, November 26, 2009

Finished! Well... sort of

Woohoo! My NaNo novel is finished. Well, the novel isn't finished. In fact the first draft isn't even finished yet. But the NaNo challenge is :)

I hit 50,676 words a few moments ago. It feels good. But the story isn't yet complete. I probably have another 10k to go depending on how the ending unravels. I'm not quite sure what my characters have planned for me yet.

There was more violence, more sensual tension than I expected. I know I've dropped a few clues along the way - things I included for the mystery, then promptly forgot about. There are a few places where I've left hints for a needed scene, but the scene wasn't coming to me, so I just skipped it.

I know I have a bit of editing to do - well probably more than a bit - but I'm quite happy with the way the draft went. This is the first draft I've done with any intention or thought of publishing. I've always written, but the thought of publishing is as recent as my previous ms. The publishing thought popped into my mind one day, and hasn't let go. The previous ms was full of writing just for me. Lots of superfluous scenes, lots of descriptions of settings. Stuff that helped make the characters, scenes and plot real for me, but that a reader has no use for.

I've edited and revised that ms to half of its original size, and I'm still looking at one more round of revision.

I don't think this ms will require as much effort or polish. I've learned a lot from this past year. And it's all thanks to you! The online writing community is absolutely amazing. I've found writers to be extremely generous with their time and expertise. They are honest, warm and so talented. It's been a fun year of learning and growing for me. So, thank you!

How has your writing changed and grown through each ms? Do you find the learning curve is a continuous climb, or does it level off after a while?

36 comments:

  1. Congrats on the NaNo win :-)

    My current WIP is the first one I've written with the intention of publishing as well... I'm no expert on the matter, but I imagine the learning curve is a continuous climb! (I hope it is anyway.)

    I love learning the ins and outs and tricks of the trade... The rules and then how to break them... I love the new discoveries and the honing of skills that I'd already believed to be developed!

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  2. Thank you Sara! I didn't think I'd make it this year, but the story kind of took over.

    I agree - the entire writing learning curve is fun. And challenging.

    I love your last line - "honing skills I'd already believed to be developed" - That's it exactly :)

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  3. Congratulations with your manuscript. That's awesome that you not only completed the challenge but wrote something you're proud of.

    I definitely feel like my writing had grown and changed with each manuscript. It was so fun to be able to put all the things I've learned into my own NaNo manuscript. I am working hard to finish it up completely. I hope I make it!

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  4. Congratulations Jemi! Wonderful news. :D

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  5. That's great! Hope to be following you there soon. I ditto much of what you said about your novel--same situations with me. I'm nearly at 43,000 and I really getting antsy to meet the challenge.
    So far I can't answer your questions.
    Congratulations to you!
    Lee
    http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/

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  6. Cindy - thank you! I'm glad you're feeling good about your growth too. It's nice to know we're learning, isn't it?

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  7. Lee - Thanks. I know the feeling. The story has kind of consumed my evening hours for the last little while. It will probably continue to do so until I get it all out. Good luck with yours - you're almost there!

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  8. Hey Jemi! Just stumbled upon your blog via Twitter. Congrats on finishing! I am pretty much right there with ya... I have, somehow, managed to procure myself an agent and am in the process of submitting the book to editors. Crazy, isn't it? But I do feel I have learned so much from my agent and from the editors who are rejecting me. Ha!

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  9. Congrats Jemi!
    What's it like for you getting rid of the superfluous descriptive material and what not?
    For me it's sometimes like, oh man, totally don't need that. dee-lete! and other times it's agonizing. like killing your children, as it was described in one writing class I took.
    How's it for you?

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  10. Congrats on the Nano win! And days early, too. You can do 10k by Tuesday, right? :)

    Seriously, well done. Finish the manuscript and take a long bath with a glass of your favorite beverage, 'cause you deserve it.

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  11. Congratulations on the NaNo win! That's fantastic.

    I keep learning although it's leveled out but there's always room to learn I think.

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  12. Anne - Thanks - I'm glad you found the blog :)

    Congrats on finding an agent - that's awesome!!! Submitting to publishers is so exciting - at least I imagine it is - and nervewracking at the same time! I'll cross a couple of fingers and toes for you :)

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  13. Bridget - you've got it exactly! Some scenes I wave goodbye and don't give them another thought. But some, well... it's much, much harder.

    I do keep everything in a file, even though I'm sure I'll never re-use it, but it helps just knowing it's there.

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  14. VR - thanks! You're almost there too, aren't you?

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  15. Simon - thanks, and sure that's no problem... well maybe just a little one :)

    One cup of Earl Grey Tea coming up (I know, boring!!!)

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  16. Alexa - I think writing is like a lot of other things in life - if you stop learning, you stop growing - and where's the fun in that???

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  17. Elizabeth - Thanks - I'm looking forward to them actually - I want to get a file for chapter outlines going now!

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  18. Congratulations on th nano win! And best wishes for finishing the manuscript!

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  19. Congratulations, Jemi! Now the REAL work begins!

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  20. CONGRATULATIONS! Sorry I didn't see this till now! Way to go!

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  21. Carol - thanks! The characters are taking over again - and it's moving along really quickly now :)

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  22. Annette - thanks - and you're SO right!!! I've got some scenes to flesh out and connections to solidify in my first round :)

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  23. Congrats! on the milestone. I don't think I'm going to make it, but will consider the event a success just the same.

    Stephen Tremp

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  24. Thank you Stephen! I think the spirit of NaNo is in getting the drafts flowing - so yes, consider yours a success :)

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  25. Way to go, girl!

    I think you're exactly right about subsequent manuscripts not needing as much polish. We learn and go along.

    BTW, I keep hearing about other writers "skipping" scenes and coming back to them later. How do you do it? I am so OCD; I have to fill in my story skeleton as I go along. I'm just not skilled enough yet to do it any other way. I'm not a good "pantser".

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  26. Thanks Jenny! I'm looking forward to rereading it - seeing where it does need some work.

    I don't skip the whole scene - just the technical stuff I have to flesh out. I need to do some research in that area, but there's no time in nano!

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  27. You should be very proud of yourself honey. Well done!

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  28. Thanks Q!! I'm thrilled - I really didn't think I'd be able to do it at the beginning of the month :) Who needs sleep anyway??

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