I wrote The End yesterday.
I was plugging along, more or less on schedule. I had skipped writing on Thursday, as planned, because I was out all day. Still I was feeling bad about that and pressured about getting finished in time for my upcoming trip with most of my last act still to be written.
Then on Friday I managed to scam my parents arrange a playdate with Grandma and Grandpa for my daughter which lasted all day. I plowed through most of that last act. Much of that is going to need enhancing, but since I know that I’m not much for blocking out fight scenes, I more or less expected to have to rework the climax (as well as the midpoint) anyway. So I wasn’t worried about it. I powered through to the next to the last scene. I opened up a file for the last scene (I write each scene in a separate file to avoid re-reading and constant editing in the first draft) and looked at the clock. My husband would be coming home any time, so I decided not to rush through my end because, hey, it’s the end. It deserved more thought than that. I decided to sleep on it.
Yesterday DH and DD had a day at the lake planned, leaving me all alone for most of the day. I’m not one for outdoor activities. You need to go to 10 quilt shops in a day? I’m your girl. Sun and wind and stuff, not so much, no. So I sat down and wrote my last scene. The End. Then I turned around and read through so I could compile it all into one file to send to my crit partner.
And you know what? I really liked it and so far she seems to like it too!
I am hugely nervous about this. I mean, in a way that’s dumb because anything can be fixed. But I’m coming off about 2 years of having hardly written anything but a handful of scenes about different characters as they occurred to me, and this and that whenever Kait needed to get unstuck. She totally hung with me during my time away and kept trying to drag me back.
I think I learned a lot in the meantime. Obviously I did a lot of reading, and I got to stand back and look at my writing as a reader. While I kind of feel bad about the wasted time, etc., it wasn’t all bad at all. But now that I’m in it again, I’ve been doing things so much differently. I understand so much more about story structure (thanks to Larry Brooks, I have to say), that when I went to do an outline, I actually understood what kinds of scenes to put in it and why. It wasn’t so much what kind of plot can I come up with to tie in all the emo scenes I want to write this time.
Once I had an outline that was viable, that I could look at and see would make story from beginning to end, I could really work it–without having to wait for the what comes next? inspiration like I did before. I didn’t write every day, the end of the school year is not my best time, but I was writing several times a week and I was coming back to it even when I wasn’t in the mood. And of course, setting a goal of getting a rough before going to visit Kait next week was a huge help.
I hope I’m not boring you. The point was that I’ve been really afraid that not writing when inspired might mean I was just writing a bunch of dry, uninspired crap. And when I tore through the rough draft in a month and a day, it made me all the more nervous that I wasn’t doing the right thing. We all know from NaNoWriMo that it’s possible, but I’ve never done it before.
So I was pretty nervous at the outset of my read-through yesterday, but I really like my book. I mean, it’s not done, let’s not be crazy. But it’s a story, there was a goal, it got completed, characters grew and were funny… I’m happy!
Which is also something that’s pretty different for me and writing.