Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bittersweet Milestone

I recently reached my goal of writing 75,000 words.

Unfortunately my celebration was short-lived; my story isn't finished. All this time, I've been using word count as a goal. When I was starting out, I looked at websites, at the novels I loved, and considered how long they were. Then I settled on a number--75,000--that made sense to me. Then I structured my story and its events with that number in mind.

I had wanted the chapter I'm working on--the chapter that got me over 75,000--to be my last. And part of me wants to tie everything in a neat little bow in a few telling paragraphs. I want to be finished! I want to go back to the beginning and start the revision process! I want to make it better from page one, not be stuck on the end!

But if I end it now, or in the next few pages, the book becomes very melancholy. Don't get me wrong, I love melancholy. I'm often melancholy myself. But I don't want the book, on whole, to be melancholy.

In the mean time, I'm going to keep writing. Even if the ending is different than I'd planned, even if I have to write another three chapters. Focus on telling a good story and, hopefully, everything else will fall into place.

By the way, I meet with my writing partner this evening, after a break of almost a month--I couldn't be happier. I've missed getting feedback and hearing a trusted voice saying, "This is good! Keep going!" or even "This needs work" or "This is unclear."

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