Whew. I’m breathing a great big sigh as I begin work on this latest blog post.
Partly it’s a sigh of exhaustion. Partly, it’s a sigh of relief. Partly, it’s a sigh because it seems like a dramatic way of introducing this post.
So what is it that could be causing this little vent of drama? I’ve achieved a significant milestone on my current writing journey. I’ve just completed the penultimate chapter in my current WIP and have begun the FINAL CHAPTER.
It seems like a really big achievement. I’ve been pushing the story forward in tiny little spurts. Five hundred words here. Five hundred words there. Between several tenuous work situations, not to mention the time sucking requirements of family life, finding consistent writing time has been a bigger challenge than ever.
And the actual story has been a bigger challenge than ever too. It’s the most complex story I’ve tried to write, combining aspects from multiple genres (comedy, adventure, romance, satire), as well as balancing two concurrent narratives that exist separately but also inform each other – with two different protagonists whose heads I need to get into.
It’s been a labour of love. I’ve really enjoyed seeing this story (or stories) unwinding from out of my head and onto the page. But it’s also been exhausting. There have been times when I’ve had to push the words out, and times when I really haven’t been sure I was heading in the right direction or not. And as a first draft, it’s pretty rough. In some ways, it’s more like a rough story outline than the draft of a novel. I can envisage a couple of years worth of redrafting before it starts to take the shape I’d like.
Still, I feel like it’s a great achievement. When I began, I wasn’t sure if I had enough of a handle on the ideas to produce a full-blown story. I wasn’t sure I had the momentum to keep both stories powering ahead. And I wasn’t sure I’d be able to maintain the synergies between them, so they both moved forward at a consistent rate, feeding into each other and maintaining appropriate heft.
But now, with some light starting to appear at the end of a long tunnel, I just want to get it finished. I want to get that last chapter out on the page and all done – and being a last chapter, it’s a pretty important part of the story. It will be great when I can finally say ‘all done!’ And then, of course (after a suitable break), I can get on with starting again from the beginning.
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