Speaking of stopping the story …
As mentioned in previous posts, I’m attempting to just write without re-reading or editing until I finish telling my story. Sure, this is something I could have done back in November and blogged about my progress at that time, but no. See, I’ve known about NaNoWriMo for a few years now, and it never interested me because I never believed it was possible to get an entire story written in 30 days.
BECAUSE OF the way I used to write.
Taking Steinbeck’s words to heart was an eye-opener for me, I must say. It helped to break me of a habit – good or bad, I’m not entirely sure yet – and try something new, different. It made me see that, yes, it is possible to write 50 or even 100,000 words in 30 days, no worries.
49,395. That is how many words I typed in less than three weeks, and tonight I finally stopped writing. There isn’t anything else to say in this story of mine. I’ve said everything I wanted to say and led my characters to their rightful places in make-believe land.
What I didn’t end up doing was to type THE END.
The goal was to type THE END when I was through writing, but …
What happened was not knowing when or where to end the story. Having never done so before would make this a likely excuse, right? I mean, I know the story had an ending – I’m just not sure I recognized it, so I kept typing. They found the perfect house, had a healthy baby, their careers took off, the issues they went through resolved themselves, and they did a few exciting things as a reward for all the crap I put them through.
As I typed beyond chapter 22, I started to think, “Well, I can just incorporate this stuff somewhere inside previous chapters when I do the editing.”
I broke the rule, too, and re-read Chapter 21, but I had to, you see. I was searching for the place where THE END might fit in, and I couldn’t find it. Well, I suppose there were a few places where it might have worked had my wording been different in those paragraphs.
That’s the editing part, though, right?
I’m disappointed. Not with my writing or the story. I still think this was worth the time and effort, and that someone out there is going to enjoy the read. I’m upset that I wasn’t able to type THE END and mean it, and I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to break the cycle of on and on and on that I’ve let my writing become over the years.
Personally, I think I’m just reluctant to let go of any of the characters I’ve created. I’m a selfish mother who truly believes she is the only one capable of nurturing her brood. I fear giving them wings and setting them free on an unsuspecting public.
Self-doubt aside, and even not meeting a particular goal this time, I have said all I can about my adorable Neal and his reluctant Liv. I know their love story ended, and that it’s time to go back and sort everything out so that it makes even better sense. Perhaps then I will see where THE END belongs.
Until such a time, I fret and pace, bite off another nail, and wish that I hadn’t decided to quit smoking this of all years. I’m starting to run out of Popsicle sticks to chew on, too.
This slightly tragic occurrence aside, I am proud of what I accomplished, and I especially like that the urge to set aside one story to work on another never occurred – not even once. I may not have actually typed THE END, but I did finish a story, and that makes me proud no matter what.
Onward and upward despite myself for tomorrow I edit!