Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vene Vidi Vici

The highly improbable had happened.
I kid you not! Something I have, for many years, considered to be beyond my reach has finally occurred.

I finished the rough draft of a novel.

Yes thank you Faramir and Eowyn.
By the way, I ship it.
Just so you know.
Yes, the news is true! A rough draft has been COMPLETED, as of October the 26th, 2014, at approximately 4:30 PM CT.

A Quick Recap of the Journey

Early this year, I got an idea for a novel. As with every novel idea, it hit me like lightning. I thought it had potential. Still, there was the struggle: I did not know if it was wise to take on yet another story that would surely lie around, unfinished, for months, or even years.
The struggle was real.

However, I decided to commit. Yes, I was going to write this novel. So I sat down and I began.
With the furious passion of a brand new idea, the promise of a brand new story, the beginning almost effortlessly took shape.
I typed with a vigor that cannot be explained.

But then.
The beginning ended. Suddenly, it was harder. The ideas weren't coming so quickly; the ones I had were too far away. How do "real authors" cope? This cannot be!

So I paused. I took a step back and a very deep breath.
Then I began a process that was also a first.
I began to outline my story.

Yes, it was a daunting task, but I made it. The outline was completed and I began my story in earnest.
But yet again, I encountered resistance.
I was spreading myself too thin, focusing on too many stories at once, and not writing often enough.
After a summer camp, in late July,where God really spoke to my heart about several things, I decided it was time to get serious.

500 words a day, every day. At that rate, I knew I could finish a first draft by Christmas. I was strong and steady for the rest of summer.
Then, alas, things changed.
I started.... college.

On college days I allowed myself to do only 300 words.
I was on and off, not always doing what I should but writing at least four times a week.
In early October I made the commitment to do NaNoWriMo, which meant I needed to up my word count to 1000 words a day in order to prepare and finish my current novel. It was an even more daunting task, but I pushed forward with superhuman ability and much caffeine.
Little known fact: for the first week I bribed myself with
Smarties. You know, the little candies in the rolls?
For every hundred words, I received on piece.
It worked.

I cannot lie, it was difficult. Many times I wanted to throw things and forget about writing, ever. I got annoyed with my characters and with my plot, plus it was rough draft so it was automatically not my best work. However, I could not turn back.

So I persevered.
Until today.
The final sentence was writ. The final battle ended. My plot lines were tied up nice and neatly.
All the arcs were ended, every gate closed.
Well, the rough draft anyway.

I can scarcely believe I have done it. I have completed a thought. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Yes, it's too short. Yes, it's horrible. Yes, it's out of order.
But it's my story and I have finished it. I have told it once, and it is out there now. All I have to do is polish it and make it shine. Yes, the process will be long and hard, but I am halfway there.
I know I couldn't have done it without God. He inspires me in a million ways. I'm also deeply indebted to my friends, for their constant encouragement.

So, what now? Well. come November first, there's a shiny new novel waiting to be written. One that still needs to be outlined and fleshed out before that date.
Perhaps in a few months I will come back to this story and look at it once again.
For now, I am glad to put it away.