Yes, I do realize it’s Wednesday and not Monday. But my usual Monday post is late for a very specific reason. You see, I’ve been busy. Doing what, you ask? Oh, nothing important. Just…
FINISHING MY NANOWRIMO NOVEL.
YES. I FINISHED MORE GOLD THAN SUNLIGHT. WHICH MEANS MY COLORS OF A DRAGON SCALE SERIES IS FINISHED. WHICH MEANS I AM ALL THE HAPPY.
WILL I STOP USING CAPSLOCK?
OKAY, FINE. Ahem. Let’s try to form some coherent thoughts here. (But no promises.)
I finished NaNoWriMo 2016 with a total of 127,040 words—beating my record of most words written in a month. (My previous record was 125k done in NaNo ‘14.) Was I excited? JUST A BIT.
Buuut my novel wasn’t finished yet. Yeah. >.> So I did what any sane person would do (hahahah…haha…ha) and KEPT WRITING.
As of yesterday, December 6th 2016, I wrote “The End” of More Gold than Sunlight. To say I’m excited is the understatement of the century. And to say I’m exhausted is also an understatement.
I wrote 147,675 words in 36 days.
Writing 4-5k words nearly every. single. day. for 36 days is no joke! Out of all those 36 days I only took 3 of them off from writing. I’m beyond scraping the bottom of my creative juice barrel. I think there at the last I was just licking the boards at the bottom of said barrel, trying desperately to get the slightest remnant of creative juice but really just receiving splinters in my tongue. (wut? I need sleep…)
BUT I DID IT. And, as dramatic as my (really weird) analogies are, I actually enjoyed almost every minute of my NaNoWriMo 2016 (+first week of December) experience. Yes, I was ready to be done like…two or three weeks ago. And the size of this book overwhelmed me daily. But I can only think of a couple of times during my writing sessions that getting out those words was torturous. Once I started writing, I always enjoyed it. Writing a finale is an absolute blast. And writing a finale of a series that is near and dear to my heart is magical.
Me settling in with my Official NaNo Drink (a French vanilla cappuccino) getting
ready to write chapter 46, the final chapter.
And it’s finished.
Honestly, it feels surreal. Back in 2010, when I first got the idea of this series and decided to try to write each book for each NaNo, I had no clue I’d actually be able to do it. Sure, I dreamed of making it to the end one day, hoped it was possible. But 7 years is a long time. Lots of things could happen. Or not happen. Or change.
I really can’t believe I’m sitting here with an entire series under my belt.
I’ve never written an entire series before now. In fact, I’ve never once written even the 2nd book for ANY of my other series (because basically every book I write ends up being a series. >.>)! I’m the absolute worst about writing the first book of a big series or trilogy or something and then…moving on to something new and shiny. This is the first time I kept on with the series after writing the first book. Not to mention actually writing all 7 books.
That was the most satisfying “The End” I’ve ever typed. I didn’t even allow myself to type “The End” at the end of the first 6 books because, well, it wasn’t the end! (wow, what a sentence) I purposely waited for this very last book to be able to put those two simple but powerful words on the final page.
I’m not kidding when I tell you I had a hard time actually typing it because my hands were violently shaking. That’s how excited I was. And how much this story means to me.
The very moment I typed those two powerful words.
Now, it’s a disaster. The whole series. I mean, the clichés! The plot holes! The laughably unrealistic fight scenes! The inconsistencies! The WRITING! Sometimes I’m embarrassed to even talk about this thing because, gracious alive, SOMEONE SAVE ME FROM THIS RIDICULOUS MONSTER.
So do I regret starting this crazy journey?
The Colors of a Dragon Scale series has carried me through times of heartache and joy and growth. The world of Aerigethel is my home, and the characters my very best friends (or annoying siblings, depends on the day). Did you know I wouldn’t be talking to you on this blog right now if I hadn’t chosen to write this series? It’s true! I had such an amazing time during my first NaNo writing the first book, More Blue than Sky, that after I finished it I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that’s what I wanted to do with the rest of my life—write stories. Before then, it was more of an occasional hobby that I didn’t take very seriously. But because of my amazing first NaNo, because writing the first CoaDS book was so unbelievably magical, I never wanted to stop writing. So I started this blog, I began studying the writing craft, I wrote more stories. Each NaNo, I wrote the next book in the series, and via the NaNo site I made writing friends. And with those friends I made more friends, and through blogging even more. I became part of this whole awesome writing community. I got motivation and inspiration and experience. My love for writing grew and grew and grew. I began breaking out of my comfort zone and trying new genres and actually *gasp* sharing my writing. I discovered what I liked and disliked. It even influenced my tastes in what I read.
Literally, almost everything I spend my time doing and love today is because of that moment I decided to write More Blue than Sky. Pretty much 92% of my life centers around writing in one way or another, and anything non-writing related I enjoy probably came from an influence of one of you dear writing friends. I’d be an entirely different person if I hadn’t have tried NaNoWriMo, and I think it’s the CoaDS books that really pushed me to keep doing NaNo and drove me toward this crazy writing-obsessed life I lead every day now.
Moral of the story: Just because your first draft may be an embarrassing, horrifying mess you want to bury under the ocean doesn’t mean it didn’t make an impact on your life.
One of NaNoWriMo’s taglines is Every Story Matters. And I 100% believe that.
I could make a whole, dragon-sized (get it, get it? *nudge, nudge*) list of things I’ve learned about writing by taking on this series. (But that’s a topic for a whole other post sometime.)
No, I will never regret writing the Colors of a Dragon Scale series. I couldn’t imagine, nor do I want to imagine, what my life would be like without it. It’s been with me from my time as an 18 year old, newly high school graduate, to a 24 year old adult (ya know, adult sometimes). It’s a permanent part of me now.
And I can’t believe I’m finished. For now. Yes, one day I will rewrite this thing, guys, I will! But I’m gonna be honest with you. It’ll probably be years before I even start. I knooow! And you guys have been so amazing encouraging me with this series. All your interest in it just gives me all the fuzzy feels. I can’t think you each enough for your support! Seriously, I don’t think I would have made it this far without all the encouragement. But, sadly, it will be a while before any of these books are readable. It’s going to take work. And I mean WORK. Like completely-rewrite-until-it-doesn’t-even-look-like-the-same-series work. For now, I have other stories that I want to focus on, namely Burning Thorns. But fear not! CoaDS is too dear to me to ever abandon completely. In fact, I’m nearly choking up just thinking about how I won’t be spending time with these characters again for a while. Each November it felt like I was returning home. That’s over. But, ya know, 7 years is a long time. It’s rather exciting to know I have the freedom to work on something new for each NaNo now. Still, I think NaNoWriMo time will always feels like CoaDS time to me, no matter what I’m writing. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So what shall I be doing now? NOTHING. Glorious, blissful nothiiiing! Because I DON’T HAVE TO WRITE. Not only has this monstrous thing demanded alllll my free time for the past 36 days, it also took up almost every minute of my October, because outlining it was a time-consuming headache. So, essentially, I’ve spent two entire months pouring my life into this one book. I’M READY FOR A WRITING BREAK, GUYS. I need to replenish my poor, bone-dry creative juice barrel. In fact, I may even extend my break through January. I haven’t decided yet though, we shall see how I feel at the time. But for now, I shall be hopefully watching the 239848 movies and TV shows I’ve been wanting to get to since I started NaNo and READING and listening to Christmas music probably 24/7 (I’m actually listening to Peppermint Winter by Owl City on repeat while writing this because it’s the best, happiest song ever created) and just ENJOYING life because IT’S DECEMBER which is pretty much the greatest month of the year. AND I AM FINISHED WITH MY BOOK.
To sum this up: NANOWRIMO 2016 WAS AMAZING AND I AM HAPPY AND I MAY BE DYING FROM BEING OVER CAFFEINATED BUT THAT’S OKAY BECAUSE MY BOOK IS FINISHED.
My final NaNo ‘16 stats
Stay tuned for snippets come Monday! (Hopefully. And the fact that I’m actually going to publicly put up snippets from this monster is proof I totally lost my mind during NaNo.)
So I need to know! Am I the only one who continued writing after NaNo? Or have you been actually sane people and are taking a well-deserved break? (I applaud you. I need some of your sanity.) How HAS your first week of December been??? And does anyone else suffer from writing first books of series and not getting around to the other books? BECAUSE I HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH THIS. (Except this once.)