It is finished. No. It is done. It is far from finished. Done, not finished is what I always call my knitting projects before they’re blocked and have ends woven in and buttons sewn on, so that is what the novel is. Done, but not finished.
My word count is 64,334. That’s a lot of words, especially for me. I think all of my poetry over the last couple of years might in total be about twenty thousand, so writing over sixty thousand in the span of a couple of months is incredibly impressive to me. I suppose it’s impressive to anyone, really, though I know there are people who do this regularly. There are people who finish NaNoWriMo every year, there are novelists who write several books in a year, there are other writers whose word counts I feel certain far surpass my sixty-five thousand in one year.
But this is an accomplishment for me. It proves to myself that I can do it if I don’t allow myself to give up. That I have a lot more willpower than it sometimes appears (unless it involves going walking in sub-freezing temperatures – then I have none). That I can write a book, goddammit. And I think it’s a pretty good book. The one person I’ve let read it so far (don’t worry, there will be more, I just wanted to wait until it at least had an ending) says it’s pretty good.
There are things I do need to finish though. People and places need names. There are a few names at the beginning, but even in the beginning I didn’t bother naming places. It was too distracting to try and “get it right” so I left things named CoffeeShopName and BookshopName and CityName. Then there are characters who still need names, and characters whose names I’m not certain fit who they truly are in the story. Midway through the first twenty thousand words or so, several of the characters decided to be something other than I intended, so the names I chose for them probably should be changed to reflect that.
Because of that flip-flopping, I really need to edit. I had a hard time not editing as I went anyway, so I did do a little, but there’s a lot that needs to be filled out, not unlike an over-thin but otherwise healthy stray. There are most certainly plot holes you can at least drive a Mini Cooper through, if not a tank. There’s a lot of missing information. Scenes I think are important probably need to be expanded. There may even be some things I could condense where it’s not absolutely required for the plot. I think I skipped something entirely, now that I’m thinking about it.
So I know it needs editing. A lot of it. I’m putting it away for a little while though. At least a couple of months. In March, perhaps, I’ll bring it back out, give it a read. See what needs fixing, see how it reads if I do it straight through. I may even let Larissa read it, though doing so is a little unnerving. She’s published, and her first book (I haven’t had the privilege of reading the second yet) was amazing, and far more finely crafted than this effort of mine.