Whew. The feeling is, for the most part, indescribable. I've done it. It's a rough draft, granted, and a touch too short to be a solidly salable novel, but I'm done. Plot arc is completed, final battle won (ish), final words said, and at the end, centered between the margins, in 11 point Calibri font, two words I had sometimes despaired of ever writing and really meaning them: "The" and "End."
Thus ends a major challenge to myself. So far in life I've only left one failure standing, and you know what they say about that. Well, lots of people have said lots of stuff, really, and some of it is pure garbage. But Elbert Hubbard said, "There is no failure except in no longer trying." I've failed many things in life, and all of the significant ones I've gotten back up and done right the second (or third, sometimes *grin*) time. Except, up to now, this one. Several years ago, when November 30th rolled around and I hadn't finished the book about Professor Kinder, it was a failure. Now I'm one of the few who've gone from "I'm going to write a novel" to "I'm writing a novel" to "I've written a novel." It's a proud moment, truly, if you hadn't already figured that much out. :-)
Now what? Time to put it down for a little while...a day, or so. I've gotta go back and read it again, out loud this time, to my beloved Heide. There's some stuff we had already identified that I need to do more of, or do better, and now we just have to figure out where that is. Gonna have to print it, of course, since it's tough to make margin notes in Word. In one edition of the Incarnations of Immortality series, Piers Anthony described how he tweaked the computer in order to make it behave like his typewriter, and I was amazed at his perseverance and technical pluckiness...but I'm just gonna print it and write in ink.
Once I get to a cleaner draft stage, I plan on sending it to a few folks who can hopefully read it with an eye toward whether it's worth anything. I plan on having it professionally edited, which costs several hundred dollars for a novel. Not gonna make that investment if it's trash, of course.
Meanwhile, I have more to write. But not today. Tomorrow, perhaps. But now, it's time to rest and enjoy the sensations.
Word count: 67,895 + 2 ("The End")
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