I just typed THE END on my WIP. Of course I won't leave it there when it's time to submit it, but that's a ways off. First there is my own revision and polishing to do, then there are critiques and yet more changes to make, then probably more tightening and polishing before any industry pros get to see it.
But almost any writer I talk to says those two little words feel too good not to type.
This book took me eleven weeks to write, the fastest I've ever written. Of course, not having a day job for the last eight of those weeks helped immensely. But it goes to show what I'm capable of. And folks, if I can do it, you probably can too. I'm also thrilled that it came in at less than 100k - truly an amazing feat for a writer who's struggled to get her last two books under 125k. So I'm happy for that, too. I think Holly Lisle's notecard plotting was a huge contributor to that.
It also helped that this is my fifth completed novel, and I've learned enough about my writing style and process to have figured out that my scenes average about 2000 words each - so I planned fifty scenes for this book.
So the fun's over. That rush of new writing, of not worrying if what I write is crap (and much of it is, believe me). Of not caring if I'm shortchanging the emotions, or leaving out research or letting my setting be vague and my secondary characters be cardboard.
I'm going to take a break for a week, get settled into my new job which starts tomorrow, kick back, relax, play some Nethack - and oh yes, celebrate!
I celebrated when I finished the first draft of my first book. Nothing major - I took my family out to dinner, maybe drank a glass of champagne, I don't really remember. I don't remember finishing my second book at all - that's the one that will forever remain buried on my hard drive, that I lost interest in halfway through and finished just for the sake of finishing. I know I did not celebrate that.
Nor did I celebrate Book #3, though I should have. That one was three years in the writing - just the first draft! - because I was experimenting with process (i.e., not plotting) and discovering what totally didn't work for me (not plotting). I typed THE END on that ms in the middle of a power outage that lasted two days - Thank Dog my laptop had a functioning battery at the time!
I didn't celebrate finishing Book #4 either. Don't know why – that one was a bear to write, too, though nothing like Book #3. Even more, it was the continuation of Book #3, where h/h finally got their real HEA. Don't know why I didn't celebrate that one.
Book #1 sold, albeit to an e-publisher whose readership was totally the wrong market for that type of book. Third time might be a charm, but I've heard many authors say it was their fifth book that broke in for them. So today I celebrate. There's a bottle of champagne in my refrigerator that's been there longer than I care to think, that's finally going to get broken out. Going out to dinner sounds good, too - also to celebrate starting my new job tomorrow! And finally, I'm going to get a massage Tuesday evening - using a gift certificate that's also quite old.
Eleven weeks isn't that long - or is it? We'll see once I dive into revisions.