Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finishing a Novel

I'm gonna tell you all a little story.

When I was fourteen, I was absolutely obsessed with the idea that my first love would be my only and that he would come save me from my mundane life and take me on some epic adventure. I wrote because that was the only way I could get close to it while I waited. Until I really fell in love, that is. And it was beautiful and awesome and invigorating, but an adventure it was not.

During this period, I started working on a novel that I called 'Golden Eyes' about a girl who's abusive ex dumps her and she falls in love with a boy with golden eyes. The first incarnation of The Shape that Breaks is nothing like it ended up being and though I've finished drafts before this one, none of them were really where I wanted to take the story. The last draft I finished before my break-up with my ex and it didn't feel quite right, the ending. It wasn't what I'd been aiming at.

And then, last year, my ex and I broke up and I threw all of my energy into the newest incarnation of The Shape that Breaks, the one where the ending reflects every single action that happens in the book. And here I am, a year and a month later, done with this draft. The last written draft, I'm confident. I can feel it in me: this book is done. I need to edit and edit and edit, but all the tough stuff, the whole slog, is done.

When I finished, I felt so strange. I kept stopping myself and thinking that I should be writing and then realizing that I was DONE. Then I'd start to cry or hyperventilate a little bit. I've given this book five years of my life and it is such a part of me that being done feels like a betrayal. Like I'm leaving behind one of my friends.

What's really going to hit me is tomorrow, when I go pick up the bound draft at OfficeMax. I've never seen the entire novel printed out, words on a physical page. I'm probably going to cry in the middle of OfficeMax, like some kind of weirdo.

This was total word vomit. But I wanted to let the world know: I've finished The Shape that Breaks.

And as soon as I'm done editing, I'm going to start the querying process again. This is so exciting. I'm really confident in this draft.

Wish me luck, guys!

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