See those last two words? Let me zoom in:
I finished one of my novels! "Unexpected Inspiration: Colorweaver" is officially done! I am so excited that I want to scream this fact from the rooftops. I'll admit that my body was all jittery and my heart was pounding as I typed those last two words on my laptop. After ten months of working on this novel, it was such a surreal feeling to finally reach the end.
The final count for the main story file is 253 pages and 149,767 words. I wanted so much to hit an even 150k, which was my goal, but didn't want to add padding to get the extra 233 words. This is probably close enough. ;) I have a few more files of extra writing, but I'm not going to include those in the final word count since they're scenes I've already changed or that I decided against using in the book.
I have about a month and a half before the next NaNoWriMo starts and I'm going to spend that time outlining my ideas for the second book in this series ("Spellbinder") and fixing up the outline for the novel I started in '12 ("In the Cards"), as well as coming up with more world-building ideas and starting the second draft of "Colorweaver".
As I neared the end, I learned a few things about the novel that are going to be adjusted and changed in the rewrite:
-The main female character's gender will be revealed later in the story.
-I'm removing the secondary antagonist and replacing him with an entirely different character in that role. So long, Dolph- don't let the door hit ya on the way out.
-I'm adding in a clandestine sister as a minor character to set her up for a reveal and her role in book 2.
-The beginning (how the title character gets his quest) is going to play out differently.
-Scrivener tells me that I only used the word "pie" 17 times. That is clearly not often enough. (It's a running joke that my title character is obsessed with pies.)
-Not everyone is as human as they appear.
And the big one:
-I'm taking one of the protagonists out of the story and moving her to a later book (likely along with the above antagonist, probably into book 3). This is the change that I thought long and hard about, weighing both sides back and forth. I hated to remove a character I enjoyed writing and who was one of only two female MCs (the other is disguised as male for a good portion of the story) in a huge cast of males, but I didn't think that the story was doing Chantrell enough justice. She deserves more page-time and development, which she can get later in the series. I'll be keeping her and her music-magic on standby.
For the first time I truly feel like an author and it's an amazing feeling. This is still a terrible, messy first draft, but it's setting me up to have something wonderful later. (Hoping for "wonderful", but I'll take "better" if I have to.) Maybe someday my comedic series about artists and carnival performers can make it into the big scary world of published novels. Until then...
Bring on the next draft and the sequel! :)
~Meri (and her ragtag crew of goofy carnies)