Monday, July 19, 2010

On Becoming a Finisher, Part 2

As of 10 PM on 25 June, 2010, I became the proud "owner" of a completed manuscript.

Completed first-draft.

I wrote The End.

Well, Y made me go back and write, The End, after I had saved everything and closed down the computer with a satisfied smile on my face.

I had to re-open everything--computer, Word, file--and then re-save to my thumb drive. The End had to be backed up in case of fire.

War. Famine. PC fail.

Saved, re-saved, backed-up, re-opened to check that the saving worked, saved again for good measure, then everything closed and shut down again.

(Of course, as I was writing the last chapter, all I could think was, I write crap, I write crap, I will never be Jenny Crusie when I grow up because I write crap.

I do not care that she also says she writes crap because all of us know that her crap is no comparison to my crap. Or is it the other way round? That mine doesn't compare to hers?

Oh, Crap. I don't know.

But getting back to me and my crap. I mean, first draft. Maybe one day, maybe some day, I will actually think, this is ok. But not last night. Not today.

Not when I am thinking about conflict and theme and core story and all that kind of thing. Not when I am thinking, I haven't any of that. I couldn't identify it in the novels and shortstories Dr Galvin had us read in 11th and 12th grades and I'm not certain I can identify it in my own book.
So don't ask me.)

But all that aside. All that ignored. Bottom line. I wrote THE END (thanks, Y).

I told the Crit Group. The Rockville 8.

We yahooed.

I told my family. I called a friend. I wrote Joe.

I made an appointment to meet with an editor at RWA.

Because I became a finisher.

As I said was possible in my last post. Possible to finish. And the only way to truly get published is to finish the damn book, complete the story, and start the rounds of revision that will surely keep me busy through the autumn.

But my book is written. Far far far from complete. But it is written. It is The Ended.

I am now a novelist.

With my very own, hand-written, brand-spanking-new Novel.


  1. Best wishes as you pitch to that agent at RWA this month!

    Finishing really is half the battle, isn't it?

    I think it was Madeline Hunter at last year's PRO retreat who said, that through finishing, pitching, and perservering, you've got a better chance at publication than 99% of those in the room with you.

    Daunting odds.

    But as a finisher, the odds are in your favor!

  2. Nicole,
    You are right. The odds have shifted. Now I just have to get the hang of persevering and pitching!

    Ooo, and I met my goal - half way through the year! So, I am not even a total procrastinating finisher - at least not in light of the R8 goals!

  3. You've done a great job persevering with everything you have going on. I'm so proud of you!

    The more I do this, the more I realize how many writers feel this way as they write.

    I guess it's an occupational hazard...

  4. Mx - forever and always you will be a member of the finisher's club. Pretty darn nifty. Yes, the revisions are important, getting it out there and read by agents/editors is a must, but the most essential step is complete. Yay you!

    And well done on meeting your writing goal. Mine posted goals are well and truly out of date , alas.

    Maybe it's time for the R8 to do another round of vision casting now that we are all finishers. :)

  5. Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!! You did it!! You are one step closer to being published. You are one step closer to realizing your dream. I am so proud of you and all your hard work and perseverance!! Keep writing and practice that pitch baby cause Nationals here you come!!

  6. Thanks. The theme I keep reading from each of you is perseverance. Keeping on keeping on.

    I once heard the Dutch compared to a terrier - that they clamp on and stubbornly will not let go of their prey - well, not until it's dead and then they toss it aside.

    But srsly, how much of the Netherlands is reclaimed from the sea? And as we are currently witnessing in the excavation work around Ground Zero in Manhattan, look at how much of that island was also reclaimed - by the Dutch.

    "We don't need to pay attention to no stinking sea! Tides? Puh! I spit on you! Move the delta and plant some tulips!"

    I think I have had to find my inner stubborn this year, and grab hold of it in order to finish this particular book.

    Perhaps we all have to find our inner stubborn dutch woman or man, and persevere no matter what the naysayers say. (particularly when your inner voice is often the loudest of those yahoos!)

  7. I'm glad you found your inner-stubborn this year, Mx. Congrats on becoming a finisher. We look forward to wonderful things happening with that now-finished manuscript. Yay! Go, you!

  8. You HAVE to type "The End"! It's cosmic!

  9. @Candy Thanks. I *hope* there will be wonderful things. the Revisions are just waiting to spring to life.

    @Yvonne. COSMIC. A shout to the universe. The final spike slammed home on the rail way bridge leading from the continent of Half-formed dreams to the continent of fulfilled ones.