So tomorrow is the last day of October, and guess what?
The novel is still not done yet.
I've been working like a dog on it though (most of the time). This week has been bad--I've only been able to work on it Monday and tonight. Yesterday was Leah's birthday, and Tuesday was spent making her cake/shopping for her presents.
So, like I've done so many times, I'm pushing back the due-date on my book. I'm shooting for end of November. Currently I sit at 251 pages (66,000+ words) which is respectable. I thought, a month ago, that 250 would be enough, but now I see that 300-350 pages are needed to properly finish off the narrative.
I can't even believe I've crafted a story that could take so many pages. I remember just a few years ago I though 40 pages was massive (and very difficult to reach). How funny. I've been a bit concerned that if what I was working on was crap--I'd have wasted a year of my life (yes, next month will be the one year anniversary). But I can see how, even if the book sucks (which it won't, at least not completely) I've still learned SO much and gained SO much experience. It really is true what they say--practice makes perfect. While I can't say that my writing is better per say, I can see how my ability to sustain a story has greatly increased.
It's one thing to hatch an idea--but to execute it, in novel length, is difficult.
What's more, while I only have a vague idea of what my next book will be about (yes, I've already decided to write another), I find that I have fewer fears about starting/writing it. Whereas before I was horrified at the daunting prospect of writing a novel-length narrative, I find that I'm actually looking forward to it.
For the first time I feel like I know my characters. Unlike short-stories, where characters aren't allowed time and space to develop (they are instead, quick-grown in a few fast sketches) in a novel (a good one, at least) characters are allowed to develop themselves. I'm not saying you'll be astounded by my amazing, life-like characters...I'm nowhere near that level...just that they are more than the cardboard cut-outs of my short fiction. They also sound more like individuals. I write something and I think "He/she wouldn't say that." I'm actually able to look at dialogue and judge that, whereas in my short-fiction it's kinda hard to say that.
I'm talking a big-game, so I'm gonna stop right there...before you people (all three of you) start thinking too much about my little project (after all, it is a first novel). Anyway, the work continues. 2008 will be the year I finish my first novel, but October will not be the month it's done.