Pencils Down

So, Big News, I finished my novel!

Screen shot 2013-07-07 at 2.45.30 PM

As you can see, I went a bit over my estimated word count of 70,000. When I came home from work on Friday night, I was at 69.5k, with just the climax and resolution left to write. So, I brewed coffee, ate some crackers and cheese and got to work.

By midnight I’d written 6000 words, and could barely type (or see clearly) anymore. The next day was busy with family celebrations (my husband and my sister both got into university!) and I didn’t get home until 8.30, but I made another caffeinated beverage and finished my novel by 10.30pm. That’s 9.5k in two days! I’m not a fast writer at all normally, so this is a definite personal record.

But this novel has been different in a lot of ways. The first draft of my first two novels were written in six months a piece. This novel was written in three and a half months, and that includes two weeks after my birthday in which I didn’t write anything at all, because I was too busy questioning all my life decisions.

The first 35k took 11 weeks to write.

The last 44k took 5 weeks.

The last 20k was written in 8 days.

I found my stride with this novel more than I have with any other. When I reached the end of those novels I had the feeling of things unraveling, while with this one, everything seemed to come together. I’m not sure if it was the amount of pre-planning that went in to it (this story percolated for over two years before I finally had the chance to write it), or if it’s just how far I’ve come as a writer.

Either way, I’m counting it as a gift.

Last night, the husband and I had beers to celebrate, the thematically appropriate whale ale:

Notice the bags under my eyes after two late nights. Or don't, that works as well.
Notice the bags under my eyes after two late nights. Or don’t, that works as well.

The first thing my husband asked me after I told him I was done was: “So, what next?” He knows me well. This is what I told him:

– Finally start work on my model ship.
– Read books. Lots of them.
– Start brainstorming and possibly writing my next project, codename: Highway.
– Wait at least a month to start revising the Sea Story. As much as I want to just jump right back in, I think taking a break is important. I’ve ordered a copy of Second Sight by Cheryl Klein, and it won’t arrive for another three weeks, which means I have to wait that long at least.

This morning, the first thing I did was clean my desk and study while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers on loud. I also took the puppy for a walk, and read a book in the lovely winter sunshine:

That's Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater, in case you're wondering. It feels like a gift to re-read a favourite book.
That’s Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater, in case you’re wondering. It feels like a gift to re-read a favourite book.

I miss my story, I really do. But writing that last chapter gave me a lovely sense of closure, and I have many wonderful things to fill my life with until I can work on it again.

Today, I am one happy writer.


79066 / 70000 words. 113% done!

Pencils Down

4 thoughts on “Pencils Down

  1. So excited for you! How wonderful when a story comes together, when you hit your stride like that…maybe partly a result of all the percolating, and partly the story being oh-so-right for you (or you being oh-so-right for it!).

    Congrats again, Beth. Enjoy your reading and other creative pursuits while this one sits. And maybe have another beer, lol. 😉

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