Sunday, May 24, 2020

The One in Which Erin Finally Finishes Her Novel

So. It finally happened.

Yes, I, Erin Marie, of the smol book people, on the gorgeous day of May 2, 2020, finally Finished My Novel.

*Tosses confetti into the air and starts a dance party in the comments*

As lighthearted as I'm being, finishing writing my book is one of the biggest accomplishments of my life so far.

This ridiculous novel planted itself as a tiny idea in my teenage brain back in the tender old days of 2008 (a simpler time). Back then, I still had an iPod nano, an affinity for Aeropostale, and was worried about starting high school. Over time, as I grew as a person, so did my book. It morphed and changed over many drafts over many years.

After working on this book off and on for over a decade (largely due to procrastination, unnecessary rewrites, and my stubborn refusal to let it go), I could feel that it was time to finally finish it.

And now I have! Praise God. I seriously cannot describe what a mental weight off me this is. Maya Angelou really said it best: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." For so long, that was me.

Image credit.
Kindreds: A Blurb

I'm not great at creating a book summary, but I shall give it a go. In short, my novel follows a family that travels back to their hometown after ten years of living somewhere else. It's about their adventures in the small town over the course of one summer. There's romance, friendship, familial love, grief, and an overweight flat-face tabby cat. Yup.

The Pinterest board is here if you want to see more visual inspo I used for the book.

Select character mood boards are also up on my Pinterest. I don't know if it's just me, but I work really well when I have Pinterest boards and visuals. That's just the way my mind works.

My Facebook Status After Finishing My Book:

I finally finished my novel last night! 🥰 If you know me well, you've probably heard me mention it once vaguely and then immediately change the subject. This book has been a story I've been working on for so long, and procrastinating writing for even longer. I never thought that it would take a global pandemic to push me to finish it, but I'm so glad that it is now out of my frantic writer's brain and onto the page. (They grow up so fast!) Next up: Editing and rewriting this first draft til it's logical and coherent. Send music recommendations. And coffee. 😁💜

It was very emotional to complete that last chapter.

I may have misted up. The characters in this novel have been a part of me for so long, and it's a bittersweet feeling to let go of them and finish their story. But it was necessary.

Image credit.
Right now, I am slowly working on editing my book, a process that I anticipate will take some time.

I wrote the majority of the book during quarantine(!!), and was working on it for hours each day, so it's safe to say that it was an all-consuming project. Part of me wants to power through the edits right away, but I also think there's value in stepping away from the story and revisiting it with brand new eyes (kudos to you if you caught my Paramore reference).

The only other novel-sized manuscript I wrote was in the seventh grade.

It was a story about a middle school superhero and was roughly one fifth the size of Kindreds. That is my only other experience with writing a full-length thingamabob, so editing this book is going to be a massive undertaking.

Which brings me to you, dear blog friends!

What advice do you have for me, O Wise Ones of the Word? I have limited experience with what happens after finishing a first draft - my #1 goal was always just to write the whole thing. What's your process for novel editing? Send help??

Feel free to leave any suggestions or ideas you might have below in the comments! (Please?) Sending back hugs and chocolate cake.

Don't dream it's over,