NaNoWriMo Update: I Finished My Book!!!!

nanowrimoI’m still pinching myself- though not literally, because that would hurt. It’s a grand total of 162,563 words. Right now, I have no idea how many will go or stay, or if there might be more. *gulp* I’ve decided to put it away for a few weeks before I look at it again, in hopes of gaining at least a tiny bit of objectivity. In the meantime, I’ll get started on the first draft of book two. I have most of the important scenes planned, and I’m just going to dive in. Right now, my NaNoWriMo word count is at 66,219, so I’ll see if I can get to 75K or beyond. I feel like I’ve got momentum right now, so I’ll try to capitalize on that.

The last few weeks have been amazing. If I ever had any doubts about this being the right thing for me, they are gone. Writing the last quarter of the book was exhilarating, sometimes terrifying, and overall, very emotional. I cried while writing a fair number of scenes. I cried while thinking about them. I didn’t really talk about them, because that would have made me cry, too. And yesterday, when I had written all but the epilogue, I was in a real state. I didn’t want it to be over. Oh, I know I still have a lot of work to do, but for the first time in my life, I could type “The End,” and feel like I had a complete story I could be proud of.

Of course, the story is far from completely over- there are at least three more books in this particular one, and I could write more if I wanted to follow the next generation even further than I’d originally planned. But the first book is special somehow, and right now it’s hard for me to imagine feeling the same way about anything else. And it still remains untitled, though I think I’m getting close. I’ve been rooting around in the Old Testament, looking for likely phrases, and have found a few. So far, they all fit later books, so on the bright side, the next three all have titles. I’m just trying not to be too anxious about it. I still have time.

Perhaps it’s premature, but there are some people I want to thank. So picture me at a podium wearing a fabulous dress, if you will.

First of all, none of this would even have started if it weren’t for my wonderful husband Ben. (Today is our third anniversary! He works really hard so I don’t have to do anything except write. He never stops encouraging me and lets me blather on for hours about stuff that probably makes very little sense, even to me. I am so incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful man supporting me in this.

I also want to thank NaNoWriMo for showing me that I don’t need to wait around for inspiration. If I sit down and write every day, the story will come. Having access to their super-supportive community was eye-opening and very motivating.

I really kicked into high gear this last summer, thanks to two groups. The monthly writing challenge on Twitter has helped me write every day. I can count on the fingers of one hand the days I’ve missed in the past three months. There are some true professionals in that group, and watching them finish and publish work on a regular basis has been very inspiring. It’s also a lot of fun to post my word count every day and get a bunch of encouraging tweets in response.

The other group was Weekend Writing Warriors. You’ve probably seen the eight-sentence snippets that go up every weekend. It took some courage to put myself out there the first time, but it was one of the best things I ever did. It helped me realize that I’m probably not writing complete crap, and should keep going. And again, seeing everyone in the group make progress is really motivating. when a lot of that progress involves actually finishing books and getting them published.

I’d also love to thank the lovely Calensariel. I only “met” her online recently, but then met her in person a few weeks ago. She’s been the best cheerleader, sounding board and kindred spirit anyone could ask for.

Well, that’s a lot of thank-you’s for a book that still has many serious typos and continuity errors in it. There will no doubt be another round after I’ve exhausted my beta readers. But it goes to show you that while the writing itself might be a solitary pursuit, it’s certainly enhanced by the support of friends, family and other writers. And now I’d better stop before I get all choked up again. 😉 If I keep this up I’ll have to change this blog title to the Weeping Writer!


19 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Update: I Finished My Book!!!!

  1. You did it!!! Girl, you are SO my hero! And such an inspiration when I think about working on my own couple projects. I’d say you REALLY have something to be thankful for this THANKSGIVING, and I can’t wait to read the whole thing in order! Your journey this last month or so has been truly amazing to watch. Curious as to whether you’ve thought at all about cover art and what that might look like. Might that help you narrow down a title? Congrats, dudette. And have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. Everyone’s going to be so proud of you! Hugs!

    1. Thank you so much! You have no idea how much our frequent email exchanges (and our marathon chat over pancakes!) have helped keep me on track.

      I’ve thought about covers a little. That’s a really weak area for me. I know what I like, but have no idea if it’s the right thing for the genre, or how to go about explaining it to an artist. Here’s an example of a cover I love- I still need to find out who did it: The book was pretty great, too!

      Just a few days ago, I saw this one, and liked it too. That might be easier to pull off.

      It might not hurt to trawl through Amazon again to look for inspiration!

  2. Wow! They’re both pretty awesome. The first one feels very historical to me. The second, focused and to the point. Maybe ask yourself specifically what it is you WANT your readers to FEEL when they first see the cover as opposed to what they might THINK?

    And girl, you gotta know I’ve had a terrific time watching you work through this. Till you turned up, I felt like I was talkin’ to a wall. So the feelings are very mutual. It’s been so much fun actually talking to someone else who has a passion to write. I’ve learned so much from you. You’re a terrific mentor.

  3. Oh, and in thinking on it, that first cover seems somehow romantic to me. Not in the male/female kind of way, but in the way we feel about knights in shining armor when we see pictures of them.

  4. w00t w00t! Go Christina go! I got to type “The End” for the first time several weeks ago, and I felt emotionally drained for days. But the re-write has totally reinvigorated me. I so wish I had time and money to make this my full-time career, but you get what you can get, right?

    So so happy for you! Can’t wait to see the finished product! 😀

  5. That’s awesome that your husband is so supportive 😀 I’ve been writing fiction for about 5 years and most of that time was spent writing fanfiction. My husband gave me such a hard time about it. Told me I was wasting my time, yadda, yadda, yadda. It was hurtful, but I had so many supportive friends that it didn’t matter. He’s better now. He doesn’t ask me why I write or question me about it. I just started working and I’m full time for now, but in the future it would be nice to work part-time so I can write more.

    Congrats on finishing your first book! I actually thought you’d been writing for a long time because your stuff is pretty good. It’s even more impressive since the excerpts I read are from your first novel ^_~ I saved my 200,000 word fanfiction story, but the beginning is horrible XD I can’t ever publish it, but I learned so much about writing in the process.

    I have a few writing friends, some of them are dear friends of mine as well. They have been very supportive of my writing endeavors and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. I’m glad you found a friend like that. It helps so much ^^

    1. Thanks so much! I’ve written for a very long time, but aside from a really terrible novel I wrote in high school, I’ve usually spent all my time on non-fiction. I always wanted to write novels, but didn’t know if I could pull it off. I’m still not convinced I can, but I should at least give it a real try. 🙂

      I’m glad your hubby is more supportive now. It makes me crazy when I hear about writers getting flack from their family because they like to write. How is it different from any other hobby? I would even say it’s more productive than many others. It’s good for your brain and there’s a potential to make money. Unlike say, my brother, who is a rabid football fan. No one complains about the amount of time, money and energy he and his friends spend on it. It’s considered legitimate fun. Why can’t writing be seen the same way? Yes, I have strong feelings on the matter. 🙂

      I’ve never written much fan fiction, but some of my friends have, and it seems like a lot of fun, and really great practice. I’m beginning to feel like fellow writers are just the best. There’s hardly any other community where you can get so much help and support. I love it!

  6. This is so awesome!! Congrats on conquering NaNoWriMo and finishing your novel as well. Getting to write “The End” is always cause for celebration :-).
    Great job!
    Ninja Girl

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