Pre-Editing (aka Finishing)

The prompt was as follows:
We all know that March is NaNoEdMo, but there’s an important step that must be done before reaching for your editing goals: finishing that novel. How hard is it for you to finish a novel? Does it leave you with a sense of closure or a yearning for more? Do you finish as many novels as you start?

Certain parts of the writing process can be tough for some authors. Some people have a tough time getting out the first hundred words or so. Others have trouble getting the middle of the story written. For me, the toughest part has always been writing the climax.

I think part of my problem comes from the fact that, the end comes very soon after the climax. While the ultimate goal of any novel is to reach the end, I also know it means… I will soon be leaving the characters behind. I enjoy the process of writing so much that, sometimes, getting to the end is sort of like preparing to go on a trip that I know I’ll never return from or watching the last episode of a television series. I’ve enjoyed “meeting” the characters, so I don’t want to say goodbye to them.

At the same time… I really enjoy the feeling I get when I can write those last few words and I’ve reached the end of a story. It gives me a sense of satisfaction. It also leaves me eager to start the next story. Sometimes, I write more with the characters I’ve just finished using. Other times, I find new characters to play with.

I also seem to have more stories started than finished and that’s definitely true of novels. When I set out to write a novel for one of the month long challenges – like November Novel Writing Month or one of the Camp NaNo events – part of my goal is to end the month with a complete story. The reason for that is… if I don’t finish the novel during that big push, it’s often months – sometimes years – before I actually make myself do it.

Writing is fun, though. The stories I have inside me are bursting to get out. So, I force myself to finish my novels – if not the shorter stories – so that I can move on to the next story and meet the next group of characters. For me, that’s what writing is all about.

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