This is the twenty-second and final entry in my Birth of a Novel series of posts, where I talk about the development of my new YA urban fantasy. Yes, twenty-second, even though the post is entitled Part 17.
As when I started writing Mythos, I end the first draft with the little black pug sitting on my lap. Whoops - she just jumped off. Okay, start again...
As when I started writing Mythos, I end the first draft with the little black pug having stepped on my crotch as she leaped off my lap. There. Actually, that's good.In the last few chapters, Zydeco felt the perpetual sting of a paw to the crotch. I will of course not say how I wound up the story. Is it Rocky or Rocky II? Does our hero lose the fight, but prevail nonetheless? Or does he beat the champ? Jeez, this book is nothing like Rocky.
Man, oh, man, was I ever afraid I'd never get to the end of the story. My brain just wouldn't stop coming up with new ways to prolong the action, to figure out more torture for Zydeco and his friends. But I persisted and prevailed like Rocky did against Clubber Lang in Rocky III. *hangs head in shame with yet another Rocky reference*
As I closed in on the end, on resolving the conflict, I couldn't decide if I would have a follow up chapter where you see life returning to a semblance of normalcy a week later, or if I would go for the epilogue and show life a year later. However, when I got past resolving the key conflict(s), it just organically.... ended. I didn't answer every question in its entirety. I think I tied up the loose ends, but didn't provide concrete solutions for everything - and this is what happens to him, and this is what happens to her, and happily ever after, and there will never be another problem again, etc. etc. But life's like that, I think. Ah, well. Technically, there's room for a sequel, but I have no intention of writing one at this point. The story stands on its own.
Now, the whole point of this series of blog posts was to describe the experience of writing the book. I've hopefully articulated some of my moments of exhilaration, frustration, horror, and glee. Occasionally, I shared a snippet of a chapter for everyone to peruse, at least early on. Whether that's drawn any further interest in the book remains to be seen.
My wonderful writer friends in the YA Group on writing.com have provided me helpful critiques all along the way. More are coming and rather than incorporate those critiques as I wrote the first draft, I just filed them away for when I was ready to revise. I've read each and every one of them, and now have to decide what to incorporate.
There have been a couple of common themes, and those will almost certainly get a lot of attention. For one, I realized my author's view of Tameina through Zydeco's eyes hasn't translated well enough to the page. It's a lot more intense than I wrote and I need to fix it. I occasionally suffer from the dreaded writing illness - Well, I know that's how they feel, why doesn't the reader? It's a chronic thing, but with aggressive treatment, I'm way better now than last year and more so than the year before that.
There's also a list of things I just want to add. I love the judicious use of dreams in fiction, and while draft #1 has none, rest assured the second draft will. The sleepy-time dreams will be foreboding and entail a voice from Zydeco's past.
A couple more days off from Mythos, and then I'm going to read it from start to finish and make lots of notes. I'm not particularly afraid of what I'll find, and that's not because I think it's so awesome. It's all kinds of crap -it's a first draft. No, you see as first draft's go, it's better than any other one I've written to date -- something to do with experience, I think. I hope. I hope I've learned something along the way.
Well, that seems like a pretty good note on which to end the Birth of a Novel chain of posts. And so I will.