I learned something from Pete that summer. I wasn’t the ugly duckling I thought I was. I was more than my legs, more than my wheelchair. There was something inside me that a guy could find beautiful. When Joey asked me to the dance, I knew he meant it.
Yowza!!! That’s the final paragraph of Northville Five & Dime. Yes, the final draft is finally complete. I just typed the final words of what is currently, a 29,715 word story. Right smack dab in the middle of a short story and a novel. What to do with that length I have absolutely no idea.
Typically, when I write, I do so much thinking and editing as I go that my first draft is pretty damn close to what I want the story to be. This story is dramatically different. Even though I’ve done the same amount of thinking and editing, I know that the story still has a long way to go. So, completion of the first draft doesn’t necessarily mean a lot here.
Plus, one of the things I think is wrong with it could lead to massive additions at the end. I’ll wait until my beta readers get back to me though and see if my concerns are shared by them.
This has been the most difficult story I have written that I have seen to its end. It feels good to finally get there. Now, it’s time to make it better.
Ahhhhh!!!! Spoiler alert please!
Well, glad you’re finished. Do you think the next draft will expand the story and length, or just refine what you already have?
Oh yeah … I probably should have warned people, eh? The way I look at it is that this story is still a few months away from publication. If you can remember those few lines then, I’ll reimburse you the cost of the story.
Every once in a while I read a novel where I feel like the author raced through the final chapter or two, tying up all the loose ends just to get the story over with. It leaves me feeling dissatisfied. That’s my concern with what I’ve done with the last three chapters. I’ll be looking to my readers to see if they have the same sense. If they do, than there will be more story to tell. I never want to give readers that feeling if I can help it.
No worries my friend, I will try to forget the lines. But the wheelchair sticks out in my brain now.
I always wonder if I should start with a conclusion and work towards it… that sounds like a neater way to write, but I figure you could still end up rushing things and tidying them up too neatly.