20 October, 2011

Novel: Finito



It ended up at 75,860 words, which is 15,000 less than I originally planned for.

But I like it where it is. Also, while I usually write thick first drafts, this one has a lot of stuff that needs to be added later--description, backstory, details that were perfectly clear in my mind that don't come across for the reader. Most of the reason for that is because it's largely dialogue; I would say that over 75% is just people talking to each other (hopefully in a non-boring way, of course) so it will almost definitely be thicker once I've done rewrites/revisions/edits.

Assuming I get around to those. I'd actually be pretty happy if this novel never saw the light of day again . . . it's not my most favorite project. It (I still have not come up with the right title) was good practice, though. Plus, it was my second novel of the year, and my second finished novel; I like being able to say that, yes indeed, I have written more than one book.

Anyway. Now I have to really start worrying about NaNoWriMo. I don't have a plot outline, I don't have clearly-defined characters, I don't have all the details of the world set straight. And it's only 11 days away.

Therefore, I'm paying extra attention to posts about outlining and such . . . I never had much trouble with it before, but THIS particular idea is going to challenge me plot-wise.

Time to get crackin'.

Got any plotting advice? How do you plan your stories?

***Also, I am guest posting about blogfests over at I Am Writer . . . Hear Me Roar!, and I'd love it if you hopped over to check it out.***

-----The Golden Eagle


Southpaw said...

Woot is right! Congratulations.

Cherie Reich said...

Congratulations on finishing your novel!

Yay for NaNoWriMo!

As for plot advice, I don't know exactly if I have any. I usually have a beginning, sporadic scenes from the middle, and an ending in my mind. Then, when I outline, I go chapter by chapter (or scene by scene) of what I want to come next. If I don't know, then I'll skip to the next one I do know and fill in the blanks.

Speaking of outlining, I need to finish mine. :)

ladydragonfly said...

Congrats on the novel! Nano will be here before we know it. This will be my first one. I have to say that I am very excited.

Anonymous said...

First, Congrats! That's an excellent achievement, and doing it twice in a year is phenomenal.

Advice? Ambien and Absinthe. At the same time. Lock yourself in a room, set a video tape, and hopefully you'll have some gold the next day.

Jenny S. Morris said...

Congrats on finishing. Good Luck with NaNoWriMo.

Connie Keller said...

Congrats on the novel. YAY!

Good luck on NaNo. I'm always so impressed with people who do it because I could never do it--I write much too slow and I don't outline much at the beginning.

Keep us updated when you start so we can root for you!

SBJones said...

Congratulations! This calls for a reward beer.

Sarah said...

Yay! Congrats. :)

Plamena Schmidt said...

Yay for finishing! (Even if it wasn't your most favorite project).

Good luck with NaNo, I'm currently revising something so I won't be participating.

Plotting advice--write several possibilities of what can happen (at the crucial turns of your novel) and then see which ones you like the best.

AveryMarsh said...

Congrats! *throws confetti* And the second one? Bravo.

I don't have much advice for novel plotting. I'm still adjusting to not being a pantser. But I'm on that same step for my NaNo novel... a project that I wish I was more excited about. It's a dystopia so I've been watching the History Channel, checking out post-apocalyptic websites, DVRing movies like Terminator: Salvation, The Road, etc. Something will materialize eventually. ;)

Good luck with NaNoWriMo!

prerna pickett said...

congratulations! Even if you never look at it again, you should be proud :-).

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Way to go. Isn't it great to type in The End?

Michael Offutt said...

Congratulations Eagle. The only thing I can say "finito" about today is my lunch.

Anonymous said...

Well done indeed, fantastic achievement. I hope the momentum keeps rolling for your NaNoWriMo project.

Reece said...

Congratulations! That's so exciting!

David Powers King said...

Excellent! Way to go! :)

Emily Rose said...

Congratulations! That is so awesome:) I'm currently trying my hand at science fiction. What genre is your novel?

Giles Hash said...

Woo! Congrats :D I know what you mean about finishing a novel and never returning to it. I've done that with a few projects, and I learned a lot in the process. It's really helpful, and hopefully it'll pay off sooner rather than later :)

C D Meetens said...

Hey, congratulations! That's great news! There's such a sense of triumph in completing a novel, isn't there?

As for plotting, hmm, I'm not sure. I tend to ask myself questions. I want the character to end up here, but why would they do that? Is that motivation strong enough? No? OK, what is? After I've asked a lot of these questions and worked out most of the answers, I seem to have some sort of outline. But that's just me, and certainly not the best way to work out a plot, I'm sure!

Old Kitty said...

YAYAYAYYAYAYAYAYAYAYYAY!! Awwww Golden Eagle!! I am so so so so happy for you!! Hoooorah!!! Well done you!! Yay!!!

Plot advice?!!? Erm - being a panster through and through my silly advice would be to wing it - but please ignore this!! LOL! Take care

That 20 Something Virgin. said...

Congrats on finishing! It's such a great feeling :) Even to be done with the first draft.
And I've always wanted to do NaNoWriMo but always get so swamped with school...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Congratulations! I'd be happy to end with that amount. I have to add just to reach it.

Sarah Pearson said...

Woot! Congratulations :-)

And, uh, plot, characters, outlines? Maybe I should put some thought into this NaNo thing :-)

Lynda R Young said...

First up, a HUGE congrats for finishing your novel. That's awesome!

secondly... EEEK!!!!!!!!!! NaNo is so close! I'd better get off my proverbial and finish my outlining. I tend to be quite meticulous with my planning. I work on a whiteboard to nut out all the particulars and I write up details of what I want to happen in each chapter to make sure I have the pace right. It's a lot of work, but it saves me a ton of work in the revisions.

Angelina C. Hansen said...

Congratulations! You should be very proud. Now about planning stories. I do it all in my head, sort of like daydreaming but we can call it noveldreaming. Once I feel I have a good grasp of who and what, then I start drafting the novel. Best wishes with NaNo. I'll be here to cheer you on.

Tara Tyler said...

yay! just in time for nano! way to go =)

E.R. King said...

Yay! Congrats on writing "the end"!

Jules said...

Way to go Eagle. NONANO for me. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Bethany Elizabeth said...

OH MY GOSH!! Congrats! I still have NO idea how I'm going to get my novel done in time... here's hoping!

Trisha said...

Major congrats on getting your draft done!!! Now you get to have fun with NaNo plotting! hehe

Kari Marie said...

Congratulations! Woohoo! No great planning tips. I spend a ton of time free writing and visualizing without really outlining. That doesn't always work for everyone. Good luck with NaNo!

May-Day_Aura said...

Congrats! And I'm in a similar boat as you on not being as prepared for NaNoWriMo as I'd like to be. In fact, I haven't even decided on what idea to write let alone having done any outlining or character development. Good luck to you in your NaNo writing!

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

Way to go, Eagle! Congrats!

Scarlett Clay said...

Wow, that is a big achievement! You have done something I have never been able to do...FINISH! :) I like how you set your goals and meet them, too.


Anonymous said...

Well done you!! :) Good luck with Nano. This will be my second year. I'm a short story rebel.

MyTricksterGod said...

I plan my stories by first getting extremely demoralized, giving up on story-telling and do some life-sustaining things until I-- on some given day, wake up at the desk with my laptop open, oblivious to the few paragraphs pre-written and alien to my knowledge of effort.
I'm getting the hang of writing my novel closer to your average speed (which thankfully isn't 3years).

How are you able to write your books in a set time limit?

J.C. Martin said...

W00t! Congratulations! And good luck for NaNo! I suppose it depends on how detailed you want your outline to be, and everyone has a method that works for them.

When I plot, I pretty much write my "first draft", a chapter-by-chapter breakdown, with 5-6 lines to summarise each chapter. Then, after chopping and changing this, and checking the timeline/consistencies, I start writing with the outline as my 'map'. Of course, it's a flexible outline, as it will change when I get a better idea while writing.

I like my way as I get to see "the whole picture" and the story in its complete form, and can weave in any subplots easily by slotting them into/in between the chapter outlines. Oh, and I do keep a separate character sheet -- have had one character change hair colour from raven to grey in the course of the story -- her adventures must really have stressed her out! :)


Join me in the Trick or Treat Spooktacular! Could you help make the Grand Prize a brand new Kindle Touch?

Anne Gallagher said...

Congratulations! That's fantastic. So proud of you. And just in time for NaNo.

BornStoryteller said...

Mazel Tov and WOOT indeed!!!

A very special young lady who deserves the good things.


Deborah Walker said...

Oh that is so wonderful. What an achievement.

Charles Gramlich said...

Congrats for sure. SO many folks who start a novel never finish one. I've got some unfinished ones around myself.

Jacqueline Howett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bess Weatherby said...


Jacqueline Howett said...

I'm smiling for you. It's the best feeling in the world when you finish a novel-isn't it? Congratulations!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Awesome!!! Congratulations on your second novel!!!

NaNo is looming on my mind too, and I recently posted about map-making on my blog, because I wished I had a better set of maps before last year's NaNo, and I'm determined to have a good set before November - I need to understand weather patterns, geography and distances for my characters' journeys in a pre-industrial fantasy world with few good roads. So that's my focus for the rest of this week - good maps. Next week, I'll get back to that pesky outline.

Good job, and good luck with NaNo!

Deniz Bevan said...

Plotting? Planning? I never do that! I get kernels of ideas, and I see where the story takes me, writing scenes as they come. The characters tell me their tales [g]

Shirley Wells said...

Woot indeed! Congratulations. Isn't it great when it's finished?

Plotting? Planning? Sheesh. I have to give my editor a very detailed storyline before I start to write and it's the hardest thing of all for me. I tend to sit down with hubby and say "I've got this idea....". He'll say things like "...but why would he do that?" and I get grumpier by the second. A few days - and several snappy conversations - later, I have a plot. (And yes, we're still speaking... ;)) Good luck with it!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi EAP .. well done on finishing that's just great .. and now for November ... enjoy that process too - cheers Hilary

Heather said...

Congratulations on finishing (even if you're not in love with it~that may come later)! As for outlining, my advice is to go chapter by chapter and keep it kind of vague so you have a guideline but don't feel too restricted. I also work up a character arc, what I want them to go through from beginning to end, and that helps develop the outline a lot!

M.C. said...

Congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment! Good luck on figuring out all that needs figuring out for NaNoWriMo.

The Golden Eagle said...

Southpaw: Thank you!

Cherie: Thanks! :)

Good luck with your outline! I know what you mean by having scenes like that--I usually do, but they're just not there.

Ladydragonfly: Thank you. Good luck with NaNoWriMo! :) Last year was my first.

Joshua: Thank you!

Um, I don't think I'll be doing that . . . :P

Jenny: Thanks! :)

Connie: Thank you so much.

I'll be sure to update. :)

SBJones: Thanks! Not so sure about the beer, though. :P

Sarah: Thank you!

Plamena: Thanks!

I'll have to keep that in mind--I love playing around with many possibilities. :)

Avery: Thank you!

Good luck with your project!

Thanks. :)

Prerna: Thanks!

Susan: It is. :)

Michael: Thank you!

Was it a good lunch?

Austrodavicus: Thank you so much!

Reece: Thanks! I'm excited, too--I'm finally DONE with the project.

David: Thanks! :)

Emily: Thank you!

Science Fiction/Dystopian/YA. Welcome to the world of SF. :)

Giles: Thanks!

Yup. It can't hurt to finish a novel, right? :)

C D: Thank you! Yes, there is.

I like that idea, actually, of asking questions; it will either get you answers or more questions. :)

Old Kitty: Thank you! :D

I've thought about just winging it, without an outline; I'm more of a plotter, though, so my brain rebels whenever I think about starting without a plan.

That 20 Something Virgin: Thanks! :)

Alex: Thank you!

Sarah: LOL. That's the way I felt when I did it for the first time last year--I didn't go in with much plan, though I was continuing something I wrote before (yes, technically I was a "rebel" . . . :P)

Lynda: Thank you so much!

I've read a few posts about using a whiteboard or notecards and writing down details; I might just try it.

The Golden Eagle said...

Angelina: Thanks!

I'll have to do more noveldreaming when I can fit it in. ;)

Tara: Yup--my deadline was Oct. 31st, the day before NaNoWriMo. I'm glad to say I finished before then!

E.R.: Thanks! :)

Jules: Thank you!

It's too bad you're not doing NaNoWriMo. It is fun. :)

Bethany: Thanks!

Good luck with your novel--you can do it!

Trisha: Thank you!

LOL. I do think it'll be fun, though. It's been a while since I thought of a new story . . .

Kari: Thanks. :)

I usually write out major points of the story and work from there; but I like the idea of visuals.

May-Day Aura: Thank you!

Good luck with your NaNoWriMo project! I was in the same boat a couple weeks ago--but finally came up with something.

Wendy: Thank you! :)

Scarlett: Thanks!

Though as for goals, I missed deadline after deadline for my first novel; it took me 1 1/2 years to write. :P

Niki: Thank you!

I was a rebel last year, too, since I continued a project I had started to right.

MyTricksterGod: LOL. Sometimes the process is a lot like that. :P

I try to get into the habit of writing a certain number of words or pages over a certain number of days--I find words are easier, since I change page sizes often. That's what I did with the novel I just finished. NaNoWriMo helps with that, since it pushes you toward a set number of words (1700) per day.

J.C.: Thank you!

Oh, I'll have to explore that method. I like the idea of adding subplots in among the chapter outlines.

LOL. I'm sure a lot of my characters would have gray hair if I let them age with all the trauma I put them through . . . :P

Anne: Thank you! :)

Yup, just in time.

Stuart: Thanks! :D

Deborah: Thank you.

Charles: Thanks!

I've started a whole bunch of novels but never finished them . . . some have a few chapters, some over a hundred pages.

Bess: Thanks. :)

Jacqueline: Definitely. :)

Thank you!

Tyrean: Thanks!

Good luck with your maps! I love maps that are set into a book; they're so cool to look at, and it's really handy to have a visual aid sometimes.

Deniz: Thank you!

Characters often know best. :)

Shirley: Oh, yes!

LOL. I have to say, it sounds like it could be fun to debate over plot with someone. :)

Thank you!

Hilary: Thanks!

Heather: Thank you!

Hopefully it does--but I don't see that happening in the near future. :P

I'm planning to go into greater depth with the characters for this story; I've never actually drawn up a detailed character sheet before (I know, I know, I probably should have).

M.C.: Thank you so much! :)

Donna Hole said...

Wow; two novels in a year? I'm lucky to write two short stories in a year. I know what you mean about that "finished" feeling; I have written trilogy, and I'm pretty happy to be able to say that. Not sure any of those novels will ever see a publishing contract, but they are done (just don't ask about editing).

And I did go read your blogfesting post - and it was awesome. And thanks for the introduction to "Gracie".

Now, I'm here for your Ren3 entry so could you kindly STOP distracting me . .


Carrie Butler said...

Congratulations, Eagle! That's fantastic! :)

Laura Barnes said...

Yay! Congrats to you!!

The Golden Eagle said...

Donna: Don't ask about mine, either; the last book I finished (which I actually cut up into a trilogy) is halfway through rewrites, and all my other stories are mostly unedited . . .

Thanks for reading! And Gracie's awesome, isn't she? :)

I'll try. :P

Carrie: Thank you!

Laura: Thanks! :)

Simon Kewin said...

Great stuff - congratulations. As to planning, it's something I'm experimenting with more. I tend to work out the start and the ending but not how to connect the two. Which can make writing interesting ...

The Golden Eagle said...

Simon: Thank you! :)

I don't often come up with an ending until I've figured out some of the things that are going to happen throughout the story--not sure why. Writing without a set ending can make things interesting, too. LOL.