The final sentence has been written and the completed story has been printed. The emotions I have looking at this manuscript are hard to describe, but the one that rises to the top is pride.
I finished this story and I am so damn proud of how it came out. The holes that existed in the first draft were plugged, the characters were rounded out, and the journey they took was more complex and detailed than I hoped. I love these characters and this story and I love that I can walk away from this revision knowing that I was able to get so much of the truth and essence of both onto the pages. I did what I set out to accomplish and was gifted some glorious surprises from my characters and the story along the way. I was really surprised by how much came through in their relationships that I didn’t expect and by how the antagonist in this story pushed me more than I thought he would. I had to up my game to properly tell his story and it enriched this draft so much more because of it. The surprises in the relationships came in quiet moments where the characters blossomed when I expected them to simply be. Each surprise, each moment with my antagonist, each place the characters and story grew pushed me to write furiously to keep up. I did them justice and I’m grateful I was able to tell their story.
Now is the time to set the draft aside and let it rest. The characters have been through a ridiculous amount and they need time to settle before I go poking at them again. They gave me all they had to give and I’m grateful to them for filling in this story. I spent this weekend letting the realization that my current journey with this story is at an end and feeling good about that. I was too exhausted from the week to stay up late and binge a show I love in celebration, but total exhaustion in the face of a week well spent taking care of my family and writing was just fine with me. 🙂 My mind was pulled to think a bit about my upcoming NaNoWriMo project, but I didn’t think too much about it. I really wanted to give myself a bit of space between these projects, because this next manuscript is going to take so much more than I may ever be fully “ready” to give. I’m ready to write the story, more than ready to finally get a draft of it on paper, but so much of this next story is inspired by my own experiences as a young adult and will require a lot of myself to write. It will skirt barriers between myself and my characters/story, as every writing project does, but it won’t have the large fictional boundaries to separate myself from it like my other stories have. This week will be dedicated to the beginning of that journey and getting ready to finally write that story.
In case you haven’t been told today, you are more than enough.