Nov. 28th, 2016

aryanhwy: (Default)
It is a weird thing, feeling things wrapping up, after this has taken up so much of my mind over the last four months, and particularly since September.

After it started taking up so much of my time, from the 2nd week of September, without any end seeming in sight, I decided to do NaNoWriMo as a way to get the damn thing done. 50,000 words in a month: that should be more than enough. I aimed to go into November with 50,000; 100,000 words seemed about right.

In the end, I started November with about 55,000. Interestingly, my original belief that this was a 100,000 word story proved increasingly right; last week, I figured out how things would end, and wrote the final scenes, and then started writing both backwards and forwards so that I would eventually meet in the middle.

Up through last week, I banked as many spare words as I could, because Gwen and I went to Amsterdam yesterday and Sunday, and I knew I wouldn't be able to get much done then; turns out, I was wrong, as Saturday night I crossed 45,000 words, and...realized that I was actually basically done. Sunday I filled in a few bits and pieces in the chapters, but this morning rolled around, with 4440 words left to go to "win" at NaNoWriMo. Now, what was more important: Writing the right story, or winning?

Well, winning of course. I struggled to find a way that I could insert another 4500 words into what I had, but it quickly became clear that that was stupid.

So instead, tonight, I sat down and did what I do best: I stopped writing fiction and started writing academia. Sort of. I added a chapter at the end, which is currently titled "This isn't really a chapter." It's a place where I started writing up all the bits and pieces in the book which are in fact true, or at least based in actual fact/research, along with citations.

20 minutes later, I had 950 words. My usual average, when hand-writing, has been about 500 words per hour. This evening, at home, it took me another hour to write another 1200 words. The big number sure is nice, but...it sure does feel different. This is such a different way of exercising my mind and my words.

This "chapter" probably won't even make it into the book, proper, but I'm glad I'm writing it ,and will probably use the rest of my words (2532 to be precise) adding to it. I am afraid that if I don't write this down, I will forget where my impetus for certain parts came from, and why I made the decisions I did. So it's part research paper and part memoir.

But the story itself: There is nothing more to build. There is a huge amount to add to the beginning, and a huge amount to be changed during the editing process. (I suspect that many of the last 25 chapters or so need to be rearrange substantially.) But I will be surprised if any new chapters are added. It is a strange feeling, to have gone from "I have no idea how this will end" to "I see how this can end" to "I now know what the end is like" to "I have ended it", in four weeks flat.

As for now? For the first night in a month, or more, I won't spend 8pm-11pm on the couch writing. Instead, it's 9:30pm and I'm going to go take my beer and a new book I just bought upstairs to the bathtub.

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aryanhwy

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