Monday, December 6, 2010

The End

What kind of relief do you feel when you finally type (or at least think) those two words when you reach the end of your first draft? I just typed those eight tiny but very meaningful letters last night at 9:38pm when I finished the first draft of the second book in my Shay O'Hanlon Caper series. It's these kind of small but momentous moments that keep me writing. This is actually the fourth manuscript I've completed, and every time I wrap one up, I pause and marvel for just a moment that the damn thing is actually done. Now the work really begins, but I'm looking more forward to this step than I ever have, because now at least I have a better idea about where I'm trying to go.

What are your favorite parts of the writing process? Do you live to fill the page with your characters and their dialogue? Or are you someone who struggles to get those first words out but blossom like a virtuoso when it's time to revise? I know some authors hate revisions, and some people love them. I'm still stuck on Alan's soundboard analogy, and I'm actually excited to begin the dissection and rebuilding of my latest cauldron of mumbo jumbo.

Regardless of how it comes together, as writers we love the process in what ever form it takes, and the end result is a huge thrill and a big 'ol relief.

Jessie Chandler
Bingo Barge Murder


Lisa Bork said...

Congratulations on finishing your first draft of book two, Jessie!

My favorite part of the writing process is being so lost in the story that everything else fades. But then, that's how I almost missed picking my daughter up from school the other day :)

Vicki Doudera said...

Way to go, Jessie -- must feel great in this busy season to have accomplished a personal goal.

I enjoy outlining a new book, coming up with characters, plot, etc, and I like revising. I guess my least favorite part is putting all my revisions back into the MS. That takes forever!

Alan Orloff said...

Congrats, Jessie! Sometimes the best part of writing is being done. (I guess I'm in a Monday mood.)

Lois Winston said...

Congrats, Jessie! Being a non-conformist, I do what just about every writing workshop and book tell you not to do. I revise as I go. I just can't write the next scene or chapter if I'm not happy with what preceded it. I guess that's why I'd never be able to do NaNo, no matter what month it was held. The upside of this wrong way of writing is that by the time I write THE END, my manuscript is well beyond that first draft stage, and the editing process is less painful.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

I write a lot like Lois. I don't work in drafts. I write about 5 or 6 chapters, then go back and edit until I'm happy, then create another chunk and repeat. After THE END I go back through the manuscript only once more before submitting it to my publisher.

Keith Raffel said...

Congrat's, Jessie. As for me, it's great when I finish, but it doesn't take long before I spiral down into some kind of post-partum depression.

Kathleen Ernst said...

That is a wonderful moment! My first drafts are usually quite rough, but once I've captured one, at least I then have everything I need to start shaping the story.

Congrats on your latest accomplishment!

Carol Grace said...

My favorite part is seeing the book on the shelf in the bookstore. My most unfavorite part is coming back from vacation with a deadline looming, staring at the blank pages of the unfinished book and wondering Who Done It and Why? And what was I thinking???

Jessie Chandler said...

First of all, thanks for the congrats, everyone. Feels good, if at least for a little bit :-)

Lisa--I'm glad you remembered your daughter LOL!!!

Vicki--those revisions are rough. How do you go about yours?

Alan--if you weren't in a Monday mood, what would you say?

Lois, I know what you mean about going back. I do go back a chapter every time I sit down and write, but it's usually the big picture stuff I have issues with revising until the end. Continuity and all that.

Sue Ann, I like the way you and Lois work...I need to move more in that kind of direction. In time :-)

Ok, Keith, there's happy pills for that :-) ROFL!

Darrell James said...

Jessie- I tend to like the revision process. It's the first chance in the process I get to tell myself the "real" story.

Congratulations on your latest finish!

Julia Buckley said...

I feel pretty good when I type those words--for about five minutes. And then I think, "Oh man, there's so much to revise!"

But I tend to be glass half full about writing. :)

Deborah Sharp said...

The End are my 2 favorite words ... Congrats for getting there, Jessie!
I actually like sketching out the characters best. I always start with the people I want in the book, then the plot follows where their personalities take it.