So today I have made a decision to end my first draft manuscript and call it finished. It is a weird feeling, not quit as exciting as I thought it would be. I have reached a point that I feel I am just writing words to increase the word count and the story I want to tell is all there, so there is no need to continue.
I started planning this story in September. The first plot outline was done and I decided to make it my NaNoWriMo project. I then spent all of October doing character drafts and world building. This allowed me to get to know my characters as best I could before the mad dash of NaNoWriMo began. All that preparation gave me great excitement to tell their story. I was constantly unsure how many words it would take for me to write it, but I knew it would be more than the 50k to meet the NaNoWriMo goal.
After November I was sitting comfortably at 88k words, way more than I thought I could write in 30 days and it felt good. Then the NaNoWriMo hangover set in. I was not motivated to site down and write, but I still wanted to finish the story.
Then another speed bump got in my way, my story started to feel jumbled. I knew my characters had changed from what I originally wanted them to be and some of the story elements needed to be changed to fit the plot that had taken over my story. Some aspects of the story were no longer even close to what I started writing towards, in my mind they were much better. I saw that I needed to rewrite much of what I had already put down in order for it to make sense. So when I got to the final battle and the ending of the story, I felt like a lot of the story was not pointing to the ending I was writing.
That is what led me to my current state of writing words in an attempt to hit 100k. It was no longer about telling a story and all about hitting a word count, and that is not what writing is about. So today I have marked the story as finished, 96,511 words in total. I feel the ending I want to tell is represented, if not in detail then in an outline. I will have to do a lot of writing on the ending once I get the rest straightened out.
For today, I will celebrate finishing my first manuscript for a full length novel. It is hard to believe I did that and it feels good knowing I can. Of course my mind is swimming with numerous new stories I would like to write and it excites me that my muse still wants me to write. I look forward to getting to those stories.
As for The Blacksmith of Milani. I will put it aside for a couple of weeks. The first major rewrite will happen sometime in January. After I have let me mind heal and I let go of all the mistakes I believe I made. I want to approach it with a clear mind and all the enthusiasm it deserves.
I think I am going to start writing some short stories in the mean time. Thank you all for coming along with me on this adventure and I hope you stick around to see where I go next. I am a long way from reaching my goal, but that journey is going to be a blast.
Until next time…