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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reflections on being DONE!

I reach a point in every book that I'm reading (okay, if it's any good) where I simply can't put it down. I love that feeling of just HAVING to finish it, no matter how many hours you have to sit on your duff. Well, I reached that point in writing this weekend, which is rather more brain-exhausting than reading, but it was a similar feeling nonetheless. I wrote eight pages Sunday afternoon and, because I did not reach my requisite ten pages before my children woke up from their naps, I sat back down after they went to bed to write another two. Well, two turned into ten, turned into twenty, and before I knew it, I was staring at the clock on my laptop reading 3:38AM and thinking to myself, "I'm going to finish this, I just HAVE to!" And so I made myself some coffee, replaced my contacts for my glasses, and dug in. Part of the reason that I needed to get it done so bad was that I had just finished writing the climax of the story. (This included pacing back and forth across my living room at 2 in the morning with my journal and a pencil trying to write a poem for the climax chapter). Having gotten through that part, the downward slide increased (as it were... see blog post "Like Walking Downhill")and I couldn't shake the sense that I was basically finished with the story, even with thirty more pages to write. Thirty pages really isn't much, however, in story-land, so I also had to condense and cut to keep the book around 380 pages. Now, don't get upset! If, when revising my draft, I decide that the end feels rushed, I will add back in some of the elements that I cut out. (I easily had enough material planned for this book to take it to 450 pages.) I think that it will be effective as is, however, and that some of the cuts I made actually add to the mystery of the ending and will give me more things to build off of in the third book. Anyhow... so I finished the last chapter at 8:30 in the morning, by which time my two small children were squawking like baby birds to be let out of their beds, and so I reluctantly tried to accept that the epilogue was not going to get written at that time. But, I just couldn't, just COULDN'T, leave it like that! So after feeding my children breakfast, I put the laptop up on a shelf in my living room (out of the reach of grasping, sticky fingers) and typed the six-page epilogue while my boys hung on my legs (literally). You might think that makes me a bad mother, and I don't blame you, but it's not every day that you finish a novel, and I figured that it wasn't going to kill them if Mommy ignored them for a half hour. And now I'm able to give them so much better attention that the hard part of the process is over. Hey, I slept for over eight hours last night for the first time since I started writing The Oracle. That's something to rejoice about all on its own!

Okay, so rough draft of The Oracle? Check! Commence revisions...

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