Finished a Manuscript

I’ve been working part time on an adult commercial fiction manuscript, TSTTW, since November 2009. It started out as a short story. Then it became chapter one of a novel.

I’ve had to put it aside for several months and then pick it back up as time allowed. Because my YA novel was complete and every time it received some feedback, I went into revision mode.

I was at 42K words in August for TSTTW. But I still saw ways to improve the YA book. So I stuck with that in October. Then I picked up TSTTW in November and got another 20K written.

But then more revisions were required on my YA manuscript. Major revisions that took up all my time until February.

In March, I decided to finish TSTTW draft. I wrote another 19k. Not my best writing. But a first draft. 1K words a day, 5 days a week. And in a month I finished my first draft of TSTTW.

It is an indescribably wonderful feeling. To finish a manuscript I’ve toiled over. Pride. Completeness. Satiation. They all flooded my system. I felt like I could take on the world and win. I felt indestructible. And I knew I could do anything I set my mind to.

Still everything I wrote in March is, well, rough. Think tree bark with eight inch thorns sticking out of it. So I have to take this week and do some editing/revising. Removing the thorns.

Then in April, I start major revisions. Stripping away the bark to reveal wood. Smoothing it until I can build a bookcase out of it.

I know wisdom says let it sit for a few months. But the first 150 pages were drafted before July 2010. So they’ve been sitting around for months. Waiting to be tended to. Pruned.

And I have feedback from auction critiques. Ready to be applied.

So I’m going to start revising.

But this weekend, I basked in the elation of completing my manuscript.

The bones are all there. Now I just have to attach the muscles and skin. Form a living breathing being.

It feels awesome squared.

The best part about writing the ending?

The surprises the characters gave me. Showing up where I didn’t anticipate them being. Changing the final scene completely. Telling me how it happened and why I was wrong to see it any other way.

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2 Responses to Finished a Manuscript

  1. Emily says:

    Congratulations!

    I think that everyone who finishes a full manuscript defnitely deserves credit for their stamina. Reading about how much you accomplished juggling even two manuscripts at once leaves me in awe–I never got over 7K with mine and I don’t think I will ever start a new attempt at writing 🙂

    • Thanks! It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint. Though you have to have bursts of writing to get to the finish line. Maybe it would help to outline where it goes so you can just sit and write and not be plotting as you go? It’s okay to start and stop and try something else too. I try to work in scene mode rather than facing a whole novel at once. Because writing a novel is well overwhelming. 🙂

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