This morning, Facebook reminded me of something.
One year ago, I wrote the first “non-outline” sentence of my novel.
Looking back, it’s been quite a ride so far. When I started this journey, I knew I could finish–I just didn’t know how long it would take. A year out, I’ve made incredible progress, considering that I need to take three months off completely in the summer because the little dude is home will me ALL THE TIME. (Also, let’s not forget about the six weeks I had pneumonia in the winter and didn’t want to do jack shit.)
It’s amazing to see what has changed with the novel in that time. The characters FINALLY have names (that took forever…), and the plot is now heavily outlined and pieced into chapter bits. We won’t speak about how neither the book nor the series are still sans titles. The original characters are pretty much how I originally planned them to be–with one major exception.
My main male protagonist has had a very abrupt (and much-needed) career change from the original plan. He went from nerdy scholar to (still kind of nerdy) alchemist. It was the best decision I ever mad. Yes, the change happened after I had completed three chapters, and resulted in me having to re-write said chapters (thankfully, I was able to salvage a lot of text for recycling) and update my (at the time) small outline, but the resulting idea was so much better, not only for continuity and ease on my part, but for the story arc itself. The change also gave my character fancy new amulet to play with instead of a sacred book–which is both much easier for him to tote around on his adventures and makes more sense in the story.
Since that day when I looked over to my husband on the couch and said, “This book shit just got real,” I’ve knocked out a prologue, an interlude and twenty-nine chapters. I’m still shooting for my year-end deadline–whether or not I make it is another story. Having realized last night that there will be more chapters to go than I originally planned when I set my deadline, I’m still going to try my damndest to complete on time. If I do, huzzah! If I don’t, I’ll still be proud of what I’ve accomplished and set another deadline.
So, here’s to a year.
And what a year it’s been.