The other day, I finally typed “The End” in my latest novel. You know, despite having been at this for almost 17 years, the most recent of which was spent traditionally published, I’ve never grown tired of typing out those two words.
But I did, and they were the result of shifting from write-itor (those who write-edit-write-edit-write and so on) to spewer (someone who keeps going and edits later). It was a difficult change to make at first, but one that turned out to be really worthwhile. When I started writing so long ago during my fanfic days, I wrote out in longhand in a notebook, copied over what I’d written to the computer, and then edited after the whole book was complete. Yep. The spewer. Then, as laptops got smaller (really smaller), I gave up the notebook and became a write-itor. And somewhere along the way, as some of you have read in my earlier posts, I lost a sense of creativity.
Well, after writing out nearly 60,000 words of my latest first draft in a notebook, in longhand, I can honestly say I LOVED the experience. I discovered a much greater sense of freedom in letting the words flow from my mind and out onto the page — a real, true page that curls and crinkles as you put more ink on it.
A few times during this revived writing experience I went back to old habits and tried using the laptop again. Know what happened? Nothing. Not a thing. I couldn’t get the words to come because, for some reason, my brain got wrapped around having to get the words right rather than get the story written.
I immediately went back to longhand and the notebook.
And I breezed through chapters and scenes and had F-U-N.
So, the other night, after I typed the longhand pages into the laptop along with The End, I recognized a very familiar and very enjoyable feeling — I was ready to start the real work on my book.
I’m one of those writers who loves editing. For me, getting the story together, thinking up what could happen next, is super duper hard. It always has been. But the editing? This is the fun time because, in my mind, all the heavy lifting is already done.
Now I get to play with my characters. To dive as far and deep into their psyches so they jump off the page. Now I get to rework scenes, maybe edit some and add others, and work toward creating suspense and tension. Now I get to work my hardest, but at something that is, for me, the most truly enjoyable and rewarding part of the process. Now I get to wake up in the morning and actually look forward to spending time with my work.
So though I’ve typed out The End, I’m embarking on The Beginning.
Boy, I can’t wait. This is the part of writing I never get tired of, even after all these years.
How about you? How does writing–or reading–The End make you feel?
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