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it’s a draft!

I? Just finished a novel.

It’s a very rough first draft, and the middle kind of sucks, and it’s 10,000 words too short.

But I have a complete draft, with a beginning, middle, and end, and it tells a proper story.

Writing a novel is one of those things that you don’t know if you can do until you’ve done it. I knew I could write short stories, but wasn’t entirely sure whether I could write an entire book-length work of fiction. My next major writerly hurdle was to do so. My most successful previous attempt made it to about 70,000 words before getting entirely bogged down, so I honestly wasn’t sure I could finish a novel draft. I can.

I’m going to put it away for a month or so and write the short stories that have been piling up in my head, then come back and do a nearly-complete rewrite with fresher eyes. Now that I know what happens, I can fix up the middle and make it work.

Right now though, there is good scotch, and a lapcat, and a celebratory reading of Gorey’s “The Unstrung Harp”.

I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement from people online, including some I’d never expected to have a word or two for a new writer. Thanks, everyone. It really did help. Novels are hard. Writing is hard. I have no idea why anyone would voluntarily do this kind of thing, except that sometimes it’s awesome, and making stuff up is great fun, and finishing is fabulous.