How Many Times Must I Drive This Home?

Omg, yes, finally, I made it! I FINISHED!

Unmasked is in the can. The End written. The final count is 120,735 words. Shockingly , that’s right about where I’d last predicted, as I recall. Maybe I’m getting better at that. This is officially my longest novel to date, in any draft, let alone first. And I wasn’t even trying to stretch it out. Maybe I’m just developing more complex stories? I’m glad to be done, but irritated that I’m still trying to drill home Β a couple of lessons I thought I’d learned.

You see, I figured out part of the slowness and difficulty I was having. I stepped away from my process in a way. I should know better by now. Worse, I was doing it out of impatience. Yeah, I know, it’s rich. I was so impatient to race forward that I slowed myself down. The sound you hear is me slamming my head into the desk. Repeatedly.

I had evidence that it was the problem too and still did that all last work-week. You see, I do a detailed chapter outline of each one as I come to it, before I write it, so that I really know what I’m going to write before I do it. I find that this works wonderfully and leads to good production and me not groping around. I feel more focused when I do that. And what did I do the last two weeks? I stopped doing that detailed chapter outlining because I was impatient to get writing and felt like I could do fine by just jumping in. Right, because that ever worked before. :p And that proof I mentioned? It’s that I did the detailed chapter outline when I had that really good day last Sunday. And then I stopped doing it Monday through Thursday again and my output dropped back down to like 500 words a day. Like I said, proof that I need to follow my process and temper my impatience. Maybe I need to meditate regularly, even if it’s just for a little bit at a time. I need to find some way to become patient. I think I’ll also be adding a note to my wall of lessons learned, “Stick to the process that works, idiot.” Β Yes, I did earn that one, trust me.

So, now that this one’s done, I have a short story for a project I was invited to participate in that I have to write (outline first of course). Then there’s so much to edit. I suspect I won’t even begin building Book 2 of Masques until late February. March will probably be a writing month for me, but that’s not set in stone. I’ll see how things go and where I am with everything. One thing at a time, right? For now, I think I need to celebrate with something more than this bowl of chocolate ice cream.

About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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20 Responses to How Many Times Must I Drive This Home?

  1. Totally awesome Julie- Umm Chocolate

  2. Congratulations on completing the marathon. No wonder you’re celebrating with chocolate cake….erm, I did give you my address for a slice didn’t I? I know some people thrive on the constant pressure of writing, but you seem to go to extremes. I hope you manage the meditation to slow you down a tad.
    Anyway it’s done. Now you have chance to review and edit it slowly and add the little tweaks all writers do until you’re finally happy. I hope the short story doesn’t send you manic like this has. xxxx Hugs

    • Julie says:

      Sadly, I don’t think the package with cake would do well in the trans-Atlantic voyage, so I’ll eat the other piece in your honour. πŸ˜‰

      I tend to only work in high gear, and most of the time I love that. It’s just when I get stupid and go off-process that I have trouble with the speed. I’ll learn (I hope). Honest, though, I really do like my extreme, I just don’t encourage people to follow me in it. Definitely not for everyone.

      The short story shouldn’t be too bad, as I know the parameters and have been thinking about it for almost 3 weeks now. I just need to outline it a bit first, then get to writing.


  3. Many hearty congratulations on a phenomenal accomplishment!

  4. wordsurfer says:

    You are a constant source for admiration and respect. Well done, and don’t beat yourself up over those ‘mistakes’ – usually it takes about seven repetitions for lessons to really sink in, so be nice to yourself and just enjoy that really amazing achievement!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you, and I’ll try not to berate myself too much. Not making any promises though, as I thought I’d learned this lesson late in the last novel I wrote. I am, however, still thrilled to have concluded this one. πŸ™‚

  5. 4amWriter says:

    Great job Julie! Great celebration choice, too.

  6. Arlene says:

    Congratulations! Huge accomplishment! Take a breath and enjoy the chocolate (& whatever else you celebrate with). πŸ™‚

  7. jmmcdowell says:

    Well, you’ve probably finished the bowl already, but a little Kahlua or Bailey’s go nicely with ice cream. πŸ˜‰

  8. Celtic Forest Dweller says:

    WOW, CONGRATS JULIE!! πŸ˜€ *cheers and throws confetti* 120k sounds like a nicely respectable number for it. Yes.

    I’m about four and a half enormous scenes away from my very own “the end”… I shall have to join you in chocolate cake then. πŸ™‚

    Question: Do you ever find pictures of people that look like your characters?

    • Julie says:

      Ohh, I can’t wait to hear you wrote the magical words!

      And thank you. 120k feels like a lot for me, but I suspect that’s because everything else I’ve written has been shorter. I mean, Bound is only 88k, for comparison.

      I’ve found a few that are close, though I don’t spend time really looking. If I stumble across one by accident, I usually throw it up on Pinterest, in my writing inspiration board. Why do you ask?

      • Celtic Forest Dweller says:

        It’s going to be tough to get there, but I can’t wait either!

        My current WIP is at 83k right now… My finished novels were 98k and 52k for Nano… Though I’m thinking a lot of my stories might lean toward 120k eventually.

        Ah. Writing board – neat! And I was just curious. I’ve only recently started being interested in it, and was always excited to find someone who looked close. I’m working on planning an entirely new story, and since I didn’t have the characters figured out yet I actually went around looking and found a bunch of pictures the other day, which was a lot of fun. It helped me name them too, and I even found a few pictures who inspired new characters. πŸ™‚ I’ve never tried building a story out of random snippets I’d written over the years and figuring out characters before plot, so this will be a bit different.

        • Julie says:

          Sounds like an interesting project you have there. πŸ™‚

          • Celtic Forest Dweller says:

            Thanks. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping so…

            I’ve only been to pinterest a couple times, but I was wondering about your writing board… Sounds neat. Do you have a link?

          • Julie says:

            I had to wait until I got home to pick up the link. Too hard to do on my phone. This is my writing board, though stuff that doesn’t go with a specific story usually goes in Assorted instead.

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