Tuesday, March 13, 2012

What I Found


7,204 words is what it took to finish up my latest novel. It's really quite nice to have finished the story. I've put the most effort into this novel than I have any other story I've written. It's funny when I look back and think about where I started. All I was trying to do was create a different tone for a novella I'd written last summer. A tone that would seem more mature and just a tad more flushed out (plus the beginning just sucked). Instead, what I got was a novel that wasn't just more mature than anything else I've written, but a learning experience in plotting, keeping track of details, and a lesson in multiple character management. In the sense, the story transcended and became something bigger, something better.

I'm a stickler for writing stuff I've written before, and this falls into that category. However, having a model to follow allowed me to create an inciting incident that started the story nicely. One that flushed out the three main characters from the novella more, but also a beginning that would set the tone for the novel and determine the ending. So when the reader reaches the denouement, the reader will (I hope) feel a since of irony but also feel sorry for the tragedy that had befallen the characters. But not to be outdone, I put in a little touch of hope at the resolution that introduced the story: a butterfly. Look it up its symbolic meaning if you get a chance. :)

Writing the novel took about a month and a half. Writing is always a journey. Short stories, I usually have to complete in one day, unless it's something that exceeds fifteen thousand words, because a short story is so easy to screw up. Novels are an adventure with characters that become your friends, people you know everything about, people you can predict their reactions to situations, they're almost like family. For this story, it was doubly nice to meet familiar characters, but also made the goodbyes a little more sad.

So the first draft has been completed. It wasn't easy, but I did it. And I feel like a different person coming out of it. It's a stepping stone for the next novel I have working in my head to which I plan to start when college is over. I even have a idea for a short story I'd like to get out, but I'm going to take a couple days off and just relax. Maybe get some extra homework done, maybe take an extra long bike ride, or maybe finish this damn book on Hitler I've been reading forever.

That being said, here's the updated goal list for March #writemotivation.

Finish first draft of WiP
Apply KT Hanna's critiques to short story White Haze
Get back to shelved WiP

I'm on track to accomplish these goals since I finished the first draft a few days early.

How's the goal check list looking for anyone else?

#writemotivation to all!


P.S. When I'm not writing my own projects, I write for a side project called Astral Tide. A series collaboration between Z.M. Willmot, myself, and S. Huang. You can check it out here. If you like post-apocalyptic sci-fi, horror, fantasy, drama, you might just find some interest in the running series.


  1. Congratulations on completing your novel! What a great feeling :) Enjoy that good energy buzz!!
    WOO HOO :

    Wishing you continued success this week.

  2. Congrats, finishing a first draft is such a huge accomplishment!

  3. Hi Jacob, absolute congratulations on finishing that first draft. I'm five chapters away from finishing mine, so I can *almost* relate to the feeling of elation. I echo your sentiments regarding characters becoming like memebers of the family - strangely enough that seems to go for arch villains, too. BTW, we're in the fantasy group together for the campaign. Now following you via RSS. Best wishes as you embark upon revisions.

  4. You've been tagged to join the Great Star Wars Blogathon! Details here: http://www.troublewithroy.com/2012/03/so-you-say-youve-got-this-idea-on-how.html

  5. Great job on getting your goals done!!