I typed “The End” yesterday. And as soon as I did, I knew it wasn’t really the end. It’s just the beginning because now I have to revise the mess and whip it into shape.
I’ve been working on a novella that I started in November 2011 as a NaNoWriMo book. I quit after twelve days because I was struggling too much, both with the book and with a new job I’d begun three months before. Work in the legal field has a steep learning curve for about the first six months and scaling that curve AND writing 1667 words a day just wasn’t happening. So I became a NaNo drop-out and the book lingered untouched on my hard drive.
It lingered until last month when I learned of a contest sponsored by Boroughs Publishing Group. It’s called “What’s in a Name” and you enter a 25K – 40K novella inspired by the title of a song. Would you believe that when I was writing the NaNo book a friend suggested a song during one of our brainstorming sessions? I printed off the lyrics and sure enough, it fit the hero to a tee. So when I read about this contest I said to myself, “Self, you HAVE a story inspired by a song and you have about 12K already written. So get your fanny in gear and finish it.”
As luck (or fate or kismet or whatever) would have it, the gang at Seekerville was starting their SpeedBo challenge a week or so later. It’s not as high-stress as NaNoWriMo. You set your own goal rather than have that 50K goal looming in the distance. And March has no big holiday like Thanksgiving (though this year Easter does fall at the very end of the month). So I pulled out the file and all my notes, read over it all and signed up for SpeedBo with the goal of writing 1000 words a day for the month.
I haven’t been able to hit that goal every day. I’ve had some health issues. I babysat my granddaughters one weekend. I had my RWA meeting (where Chris Keeslar, the EIC of Boroughs, happened to be the featured speaker). I was lazy a couple days. But even so, yesterday I typed The End for a grand total of 27,287 words. I’ve written 14809 words this month.
I’m letting the story percolate a bit, and a friend is reading over it for me to point out what I know are obvious problems. The pacing is wonky because it was begun as a short contemporary novel and resumed as a novella. I’m sure the hero’s eyes are probably blue one place and brown another. I may have changed the heroine’s brother’s name; I’m not sure. And at times all I have on the page are talking heads. Talking naked heads in limbo because I haven’t used any beats or speaker attributions or descriptions or places. But I’ll fix all that before the May 31 deadline.
Meanwhile I think I’ll catch up on some of the shows piled up on my DVR before I tackle the end that really isn’t the end.