Thursday, November 29, 2007

I Did It!!


I wrote a frickin' book! I officially finished NaNoWriMo today and if you go to my profile, my word count will proudly display that I am a "winner" and that my final word count is 51,315 words. And that's where it's staying. I'm done! I thought that I might finish today but the bigger chance was that I would finish on Friday. But I started writing and the ending just took off. This is what I've been waiting for! I actually knew how I wanted to end the book, so I was excited about writing again.


It's a relief to be done, but at the same time, I'm going to miss it. I don't know what I'm going to do now when I'm bored at work :p Overall, I think I'm happy with my story, but it's going to need some serious editing before it's readable to anyone and I'm sure it'll jump to about 75,000 words by the time I finish expanding it. But I'm leaving it alone for now. I don't think I'm touching it again until next year...maybe in January sometime. I've had enough of that story for now!


Biggest surprise of the whole experience was today as I was writing one of the final scenes. I got real emotional with one part and I was not expecting that at all! It's funny how characters that you create become so real and our minds play tricks on us. Here I am making up the story, it's coming from my brain, but at the same time, I'm processing it like I'm reading this touching story that's already written. Very weird.


But anyway, it's done! One of my biggest goals in life has always been to write a novel. It was one of those things that I always thought I'd say but never do. Or I pictured myself writing in a park sometime after I retired, but never now. So it's a great feeling to have accomplished that goal. And thanks everyone for your encouragement along the way and a special thank you to Deslily who stopped by my blog nearly every day after checking my progress to cheer me on.


Now I have to go find some real work to do....

25 comments:

CaroleMcDonnell said...

::big smile and a grin::

Congratulations! -C

Stephanie said...

Well....BIG Congrats!! Now that you have a novel under your belt, what are you going to do for a follow-up? Publish it??

Chris said...

Thanks Carole :) I don't know how you do it! I look at the size of Wind Follower and I really appreciate now what a mighty task it is to write a book that in depth. My little 50K word novel took 30 days and exhausted me. I can't wait to read all of the energy that you put into your book!

Steph, Thanks! whoa now, this thing is FAR from publish worthy, lol...I doubt I'll ever even send this off to be considered. I like the story personally, but there are so many fantasy authors out there that do a far far better job than me. And it would need a bajillion edits before any agents could read it :p But you never know what the future holds. For now, it just feels good to have accomplished a life long goal!

Chris said...

Yay!!! Very inspiring. Someday I'm going to finish mine.

Susan said...

Congratulations, Chris. What an accomplishment. As someone who has tried and tried (and failed and failed) to write a "real" book, I've been really inspired by your hard work and tenacity. Congrats!!

Carl V. said...

You are so awesome!!!

I am so proud of you and in awe of you and everyone else who participated in this. It is a very cool exercise that no doubt takes alot of commitment. Way to go! It will be interesting to see what you do with it when you come back to it after a brief break.

DesLily said...

That's M'boy!!! Congrats baby boy!! I am proud of you!! (but I would have been anyway even if it didn't finish in time 'cause I knew you'd finish it!)

You may not want to put that book tooooo far away. I think you'll find that when bored at work you might start that first edit.. just to put in things you have in your head yet that didn't get in.. THEN you can rest easier and give it a break and go back refreshed.

(slave driver aren't I?!) lol

Oh gads, Chris.. we've talked about my story so you KNOW how emotional I got during parts!! So I know how you can get so into the story and characters to have deep, deep feelings you never knew were waiting to come out. That shows your heart was into it... true, that according to publishers it may never be publishable..but when it moves us like that we both know it can do the same to others. So.. ya never know. You might work it into something you want to submit to someone one day!

But you are right about feeling accomplished! It's why I had to print mine out.. to hold it like a real book...you will one day too.. and be warned, .. it's worth another tearing up!

congrats! congrats! congrats!

Debi said...

Oh Chris, I just couldn't be happier for you! CONGRATULATIONS!!! You should be so incredibly proud of yourself! And you know what, it seems to me that a major accomplishment like writing a novel deserves a serious reward...like maybe a trip to the bookstore, or something...

Way to go, Chris! Can't wait until you allow us all to read it...I've loved every word you've shared so far!

Amy said...

Way to go! Congratulations on finishing!

Nymeth said...

yay! Congratulations, Chris! We're all proud of you :D

It's an awesome feeling, isn't it? To be able to say, "I actually wrote a whole book." I think it's wise of you to leave it aside for a little bit before you start the editing process. That way, you'll be able to look at it with new eyes. But don't do what I do, which is quit after the first draft is complete :P I am sure you can turn it into an even better book.

Anyway, again, congratulations! You rock!

Melanie said...

Awesome! I'd imagine that finally finishing must be really fulfilling. Enjoy the feeling!

Chris said...

Other Chris, Thanks! You should join NaNo next year...it's a great motivator! I hope you do finish your novel one day!

Susan, Thanks :) I really hope you join next year. I've tried and tried and failed and failed too. I can't tell you how many times I've started writing something and then gave up a few pages in or ended it quickly and called it a "short story". NaNo was the perfect motivator for me. Knowing that I had a deadline, that I had to have 50,000 words by the end and 1,667 words a day really helped me make it to the end. And you get tons of support when people know what you're doing! So if you do it next year, I'll do it again too ;) We can give each other moral support!

Carl, Well thanks! It was a lot of fun doing this. It's something that I never thought I could do and while I still don't think that my story is anything great, it's something that I created and that's such a cool feeling! You should do this next year! You would love it!!! I'm definitely going to go back and rework my tale a bit and expand on parts...try to make it sound a bit more like something that someone with a college degree would write :p But I definitely need a break from it for now. I haven't read any of it myself yet, so it should be a very interesting experience to read a book that I wrote! I think it's just so cool that so many people wrote books this month!

Deslily, Thanks again for being my cheerleader ;) I don't know if I'll be returning to edit right away, lol...although I miss the book already now that it's done. Maybe there's a sequel there for next year (ooh!). But I think if I do this again next year I want to do something totally different. We'll see.

I guess I didn't realize how much I cared about my characters until I saw that I was getting ready to say good-bye to them. I had lived with them every day for the month and frankly, I was getting sick of seeing them at this point. But I got to this scene where I realized that this was the end...and something happened with two of my characters that really got to me. Of course it's a MAJOR part of the ending, so I can't talk about it ;)

I've been printing it out as I go...I already want to see it in a "book form" :p But that was kind of a dumb idea, because now I'm going to go edit it and have to print it all over again, lol! When I'm happy with it, I'll send it your way!

Debi, Thanks :D I couldn't be happier myself! How's Annie doing? I hate that they won't let me see her page! I think you have to be a "young writer" to see the young writers profiles. I would love to treat myself to the bookstore, but I'm saying no, lol...My TBR bookshelf has officially run out of room and now it's just embarrassing! They're just piling up on the floor now! Time to start reading faster now that NaNo's over! And I know I'll have lots of books coming my way from family for Christmas (yay!). So I'm going to let finishing the novel be the reward in itself. Maybe I'll find something to treat myself to while Christmas shopping this weekend ;)

Amy, Thanks! It's a great feeling to finally be done!

Nymeth, It really is a great feeling to be able to say that. I'm still trying to fathom it, actually, lol. I'm sure I'll edit it a few times. Now that I've actually written the book I want to turn it into something that I'm really pleased with. So you're in for NaNo next year right? ;p I hope you are!!!

Melanie, It's extremely fulfilling. I started this thing not entirely convinced that I would finish it, so the fact that I really did finish is so cool!

Cath said...

Huge congratulations!!! It's a wonderful feeling isn't it?

Too Hotty said...

Way to go, guy! Hey, and never say never. It's impossible to know what might catch an agent's or a publisher's eye. Rejection letters shouldn't hurt if you already think it's unpublishable!

:-/ If only it worked that way....

ANYWAY, amazing! NaNoWriMo scares the whatever out of me, so I'm adding my admiration to the pile.

Becky said...

Congratulations, Chris! How exciting for you to finally finish :) It must be exhilarating :)

Chris said...

Cath, Yeah it is! It's nice to be able to check something off of the "to do in lifetime" list!

Too Hotty, NaNoWriMo scared the whatever out of me too but really, it wasn't that bad...seriously, I would definitely be voted least likely to succeed at this and I did, so anyone can do this! You should do it next year! One of these days I'll probably send it out to publishers just for fun...if anything, just in case my ego ever gets too big, I can always look at the rejection letters and remind myself that I'm a failure :p

Becky, Thanks :) I didn't think it would ever happen! I'm so glad it's over now and it's such a cool feeling to have written a book. Now back to actually having time to read!

Bookfool said...

Wahoo for you, Chris!!!! Congratulations!!! Isn't Nano just the coolest thing? Now, promise to edit. I've put both mine aside and never gone back to edit. I think I need to make editing a goal for 2008. :)

Chris said...

Bookfool, I would've never known about NaNo had it not been for you! When I first discovered your site, I was looking at all of your buttons and saw one that said "NaNoWriMo Winner" and clicked on it and then I learned all about it :) So happy I did! I promise I'll edit ;) I have to! Just the few pieces I've read have enough mistakes in them and I know that the story itself will need some expanding! 2008: The Year of Editing!

cj said...

Great job, Chris! I remember the first time I got that 'winner' banner! I knew you could do it.

I've still got about 3500 words to go so I guess I'd better get going...

Congrats!

Chris said...

CJ, Thanks! Thanks for the encouragement along the way. When I was thinking of backing out you really got me to stick with it ;) I think I'll be doing this again! You'll definitely finish! So an early congrats to you too :)

Stormfilled said...

Wow, that's a lot of words!

Congratulations!

Jean Pierre said...

christ, that is brilliant!! what an achievement.

congratulations.

(and sorry for the belated comment)

Chris said...

Thanks Stormfilled and JP!

Booklogged said...

Such terrific news. So cool to acheive a goal. I hoping you are feeling mighty empowered. I'm tickled pink for you and in complete awe!

Chris said...

Booklogged, Thanks! It does feel pretty good to have completed the old novel! Something I never thought I could have said!