1. skeloboy_97
    Offline

    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Australia

    What does it feel like to actually 'finish' a novel?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by skeloboy_97, Sep 12, 2011.

    So, I have never actually completed a whole novel (started three,) and was wondering, what does it actually feel to succesfully complete, edit, and review a whole novel? All I have finished is several short stories, but my current novel in progress now is 6thousand words, and I'm hoping to finish this one.
     
  2. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    feels good, a feeling of accomplishment, but also a little sad because after like 90K you've really grown to like those characters and at least in my case I miss them when I'm done. Especially with my first nove which was a story idea I've had since I was a teen, so those people felt almost as real as human beings to me.
     
  3. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    GOOD!
     
  4. Raki
    Offline

    Raki Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2011
    Messages:
    317
    Likes Received:
    6
    There is some satisfaction, a sense of accomplishment, though for me the work is never done. You read and edit and read and edit ... rewrite rewrite rewrite ... after you finish. I'm not sure if the "job" is ever truly over. I guess you could consider publishing as completion of the novel, but some return to their works even then and rewrite/change them. So I would describe it as reaching the end of a stage in a task of many stages. Feels good, but there's still work to be done. :)
     
  5. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    6,000 is not a bad start. My suggestion to you is don't worry about things like word count, or what genre it will be, or any of a number of issues that writers get sidetracked by. Finish your story. Then, after you've gone back and proofread and edited it, see where you are. How it feels depends on how much the final product pleases you.
     
  6. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    Pretty good. On a scale of 1-10, for me about a 7.
     
  7. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa
    Pretty darn good. . . but then you realise writing the novel was the easy part.
     
  8. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    True, LOL :D
     
  9. Mallory
    Offline

    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    191
    Location:
    Tampa Bay
    It felt amazing when I finished, but that was pre-revision. My revision process is going to get a bit messy when I get to the second half of the book, because I'm adding a subplot and a new character, so I'll be changing quite a bit in the second half.

    I can't wait til I'm ALL done...but that'll happen before the end of next month, so I'll tell you then. :D
     
  10. Ashleigh
    Offline

    Ashleigh Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2008
    Messages:
    4,186
    Likes Received:
    143
    Location:
    In the comfort of my stubborn little mind.
    I felt like a mother must feel when her kids have flown the nest. The next morning I woke up thinking, 'Oh, I must write such-and-such today.' But then I remembered, and it was like, 'Huh. They don't need me anymore. :('

    I've still got to edit the hell out of mine, though, so I'm not nearly through with my novel. I have written a children's novel before, though, and it felt weird to get that finished even if it was just a warm-up to my first proper novel.

    It's an amazing feeling of accomplishment, but it will leave you feeling very lost afterwards.
     
  11. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Although I have completed to submission several novels, mine never feel complete. Or, to be more precise, I never feel complete. That's because I always have two or three others vying for my attention so I have never allowed myself to sit back and revel in the fantastic satisfaction of the completed project. There's always another ... and another ... and ... Or maybe I'm just waiting for the blockbuster list topper that will make my name a household word and allow me the freedom to write, or whatever else strikes my fancy without worrying about paying the bills before I full out congratulate myself for a job well done!
     
  12. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,374
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    Awesome! There's a feeling or relief when you finally get to the point where you know you've done everything you can and it's as good as its going to get. And a sense of accomplishment and pride when you see it out there on the kindle, especially with a cover glowing brightly. But also a sense of things gone past and over with. Once I've finished a book I can't return to it again, and that's sad in a way. Its like parting with family.

    Cheers.
     
  13. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    Great for a day or so and then sad. I usually feel lost for a while after because I miss working on the story.
     
  14. will565
    Offline

    will565 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2011
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    London
    I felt fantastic for a few hours until I realised that my novel would never be finished because I could always be improving it.
     
  15. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    That is how I felt too. I will miss my story and the characters, and if it gets too bad I will write an unofficial sequel to it :) one that no one will ever read probably.
     
  16. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,724
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    I've never completely finished a novel. I have finished a first draft, and it left me feeling apprehensive. Once I wrote "The End", I knew my work was beginning all over again, because I had to go back and rewrite nearly all of it.

    I've finished many short stories, and I always have a sense of relief when I'm done. It's exciting to write them, but at the end, I always think "Thank God that's over!"
     
  17. Mikeyface
    Offline

    Mikeyface Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    I can only speak from my own experiences, but I recently finished up my ~75,000 word first draft of my book. There was a good hour there where I was elated by the accomplishment.

    I figured the best thing to do before jumping into hardcore editing was elicit feedback from pretty much every one of my friends that I trust for such things. I know there are typos and grammatical errors, but I was more interested in what worked, what didn't, was this something they would buy?

    The second after sending out the mass email, I thought of fifty things I wanted to change and edit. Being done is scarier than writing in a lot of ways--now you have to hope all that work was worth it.

    I've received some feedback, but until they're around the 33% mark I won't know enough as a story. So, until then, I just sit around and try to suppress my neurosis.

    So, in short, it feels like you just opened up a can of worms who all have varying opinions and ideas.
     
  18. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    definitely recognize the feeling. When you think of being ready it's almost stressful, in one way you're happy and feel you've done a good job with it and in another you're still not sure it is as good as it can get. But I guess at some point you have to put "the end" to your work and choose what to do with it. Either letting it rest for a while and then reread or just submit like that. I keep wondering if mine is actually the way I want it too, and if I have been clear enough with some things, and when I get the feedback from my reader I will prob check it again to see if there is anything major to change. Risk is if I start editing again I will probably never be done with it:D
     
  19. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    It's pretty rewarding to even finish a draft. To edit it to even anything resembling a semi-acceptable degree is even better. It's kind of like your baby taking steps, kind of. lol ;)
     
  20. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    There comes a point when I felt I was 'done'.

    Maybe because I always thought this novel as a bit of an experiment, so it wasn't something stressful as such, or something
    which had to be 'perfect'.

    Lately I've been writing some very short stories (flash fiction I guess), and I like the spontaneity in that.
     
  21. Reggie
    Offline

    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    USA
    I felt like I was in Heaven when I got my first draft done. Sadly I never did the revision stage. I don't have what it takes to re-write it though. I am working on a new project I hope to re-write four or five good times before I think about submiting it. Overeall, I feel excited having a first draft done. Usually I submit my first or "so-called second" draft in the Review room without careful consideration. I can imagine how much it feels getting a second or third draft done carefully.
     
  22. Wharton16
    Offline

    Wharton16 New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Norwich
    I have only ever finished short stories and then felt a little empty when I have done. I can only imagine that to actually finish a whole first draft is good but to finish a final draft must be fabulous. Then, as someone pointed out the really hard work must begin ie getting it published.
     
  23. Gottagocit
    Offline

    Gottagocit Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    72
    Likes Received:
    70
    Re: Finishing your first novel?

    It really did feel amazing. After a longer period of time than I care to admit, the anxious waiting for friends/family to review and the seemingly endless editing were all complete it was really hard to believe I was actually done.

    Then reality hits when you begin the query process and learn that each agent needs 4,6 or more weeks to review your best attempt at condensing the story into a single page. The wait is awful. Instead of blasting out dozens at a time I am sending a few at a time and tweeking the query after a few rejections. I think I'm up to 8 rejections so far but I'm not about to give up trying.

    The rejections are heartbreaking after all you've put into the work but be prepared for it. It is a great feeling to have finished it and if you are like me, and I suppose most writers, you are sure you have an awesome story and only need someone to take the time to read it to feel the same way.

    Sorry about any typos or incorrect words but I'm using this tiny iPhone touch pad on the road with it's auto correct function which I hate.

    Chris
     
  24. CULLEN DORN
    Offline

    CULLEN DORN Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Florida

    Exhilarating, sublime, fulfilled, and joyfully tearful.
     
  25. Deleth
    Offline

    Deleth Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Idaho
    Now what?
     

Share This Page