|Novel Progress Notes #20 - It's Over! (Or ... Is It? Is This How Trilogies Begin?)
||[May. 4th, 2008|09:08 pm]
New words: 4,599(!)
Total wordcount: 97,936
Deadline: May 1 (possibly reached only three days late)
I think I'm done. Sort of.
I might have another 200,000 words to go. Or 100,000. It's really hard to know.
Two nights ago, I thought my protagonists, my brilliant, (almost) impossibly brave and brilliant young heroine, was nearing the end of her journey. All I needed to do was offer a little guidance to get her there.
Last night, I wasn't so sure. Today, after more words than I think I've ever written over one session in my entire life, I am almost certain she (my (almost) impossibly brave and brilliant young heroine, has only reached the end of the first stage of her journeys, of her trials and tribulations.
The battle she won today feels like a psychological, if not necessarily a dramatic, end-point. Suddenly, what I had thought was a short, four-section novel of light-fantasy threatens (promises?) to in fact be a much bigger, 12 section trilogy.
I swear to god, I didn't intend this. I didn't want this. But "this" seems to be what has happened.
Unless I am sadly mistaken (which is certainly possible; see below), I have written a novel that will satisfy and frustrate at the same time. It feels right to end it where it has ended - a story has been told - but the story has not. It's not over. It's the first volume.
Oh shit. This really wasn't what I thought would happen. Worse, it isn't what I wanted to happen.
But I think it is what has happened.
Instead of finishing (the first draft of) a small piece of light entertainment, I've only completed the first section - of three(?) of a much longer, much more ambitious, piece of "epic" light entertainment.
Shit. SHIT. SHIT.
Had I not enjoyed so much of what I typed today, I might have been willing to give up these 4,600 words as a botch and go back to them tomorrow. But I did enjoy them.
They felt right.
And the story seemed to expand as I wrote.
So. Have I just finished my first novel in something like 20 years? Or am I only a third or so of the way through it?
I am honest to god not sure.
If I am right in thinking it's going to be a trilogy - (and Jesus god - "Jorslem was sick of following after his mother, sick of being a little boy. He was nearly 11 years old and only he, of all his old friends, had yet to be taken away by the men to learn to hunt. Only he still gathered berries and roots with his mother!
"But if he had not been called? His heart sank as he thought of his uncle Shyman, an old man who was mocked by all his friends, for he still sat with the women in their patches! Surely he would end up as a figure of mockery like that!" Ahem. A little digression, there. For the record. For my record) - and for the moment, I think I am - then I guess I can, in good conscience, avow that I have finished it tonight.
The first draft, that is.
But the story continues. And not in the episodic way I had first (and even until Friday night) envisioned.
Shit. I think I'm writing a trilogy.
* * *
But I'm not sure.
I'm going to take tomorrow off. Off to see an optometrist. Off to monster.ca and charityvillage.ca and any other job-site I can think of; no more picking and choosing - resumes off to every job for which I might, possibly, be qualified. I don't want to lose my apartment.
And on Tuesday, I'll either start a short story, or try to jump-start the "literary" novel I talked about a couple of weeks back. Either way, I'll go a week without giving any thought to "Jewel".
And a week Tuesday, I'll print out these 97,821 words, and I will hie myself off to a patio if it's sunny, and I will read what I have wrought.
And then, Gentle Readers, whether 'tis good news or bad, I'll report back to you.