Well, it’s finally done. I finished my second novel, Turn Left at the Blacktop, this evening, crossing the 50,000-word mark and writing a mere 200 words more and calling it good. Whew.
I finished a day early, but it was a brutal end. I think I probably could have wrapped it up 5,000 words ago, so the end felt painfully stretched out. I guess that’s the downside of setting an arbitrary word count goal. I guess that’s also what editing is for.
This year’s National Novel Writing Month was certainly harder than the last time I gave it a go in 2004. That year I finished in 20 days. This year I was busier with work, had a baby to contend with and was sick for five days (technically I did manage to write 500 words on that fifth day of being sick, so I was really only out for four days). I also didn’t have my characters or my story as fleshed out as I did the last time.
The final product is pretty rough this time around. It was last time, too, but I can just feel it that much more this time. I’ll blame it on the fact that my plot doesn’t really go anywhere–there’s lot more weekly patterns: going to school, visiting grandpa, going for a run, going to school, visiting grandpa, going for a run. I had that to some extent in Downtown Dandelions, but there was a lot more going on in between. It’s a different sort of feel. I think I’ll need to balance that out a lot in the editing process.
Which begs the question of when I’m going to get to the editing process. I’m not really sure. I want to give it a good once over and self-publish it again, just for kicks, but I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be able to crank that out. I may just have to overlook a lot of the holes in order to pull that off.
This also means I need to give one of my novels a real editing job. I promised my wife I wouldn’t write a third one until one of the first two was fully edited and polished. So we’ll see how that goes. I may need to participate in National Novel Editing Month (yes, there is such a thing, and I believe it’s in March).
But for now I can hold my arms up in the air and run around the house singing “I am the champion,”–only quietly because Lexi is sleeping.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll wear my “Hello, my name is Novelist” T-shirt.