Monday, January 2

Happy New Year and the last 10,000

When I came over to write my blog for Monday--it's Saturday morning as I'm getting started--I discovered that someone else had already written a post on the subject I was going to use. I was so glad I looked, because the post coming is better than the one I hadn't written yet would have been. Onward...


Happy New Year, everyone. Although I'm not going to beat the dead horse a whole lot more, I will say I've never been so happy to see a year end. Now I am determined that 2017 will be better...no, the best year ever. There are things I can't do anything about, scars and ongoing concerns, but Pollyanna's here. And she's staying.


So, I'm in the last stages of the first draft of a book. It Was Written in the Stars should be done in a couple of weeks. I measure in 10,000-word increments and I'm in the last one. There are ways in which the last one is the easiest. No more plotting (I'm a terrible plotter anyway), no more character introduction or even character growth--that's been done in all those other 10,000-word segments. I'm finishing up the Black Moment, which has been agony to write--no one told me in early writing days that I not only had to conceive of and write the Black Moment, I also had to live it. I have to tell you, that's exhausting! (Don'tcha just love italics?) Next will be the Gray Moment and then the wind-down, when the HEA weaves together like the caning on a chair seat.

But then there are other things about the last 10,000. It is when my mind goes to thoughts like these:

  • Is the book any good?
  • Is it even readable?
  • Should I quit while I'm ahead?
  • Whatever made me think I could write?
  • Does my heroine sound exactly like my last one?
  • Why are my Black Moments always about disasters?
  • How many times can a person use the words look, just, and that in a manuscript?
  • Is the book any good?
  • Should I have...
  • Were his eyes the same color all the way through the book?
  • Does anyone even read any of my books?
  • Should I try another sub-genre? Historical was fun. I could...
  • As soon as I type The End, it's two weeks off for this girl.
  • Is the book any good?
  • Will I ever be able to write another book?
  • Well, maybe just a week.

For you writers out there, how does the wrapping-up part work for you? Does it make you happy? Sad? (Both for me.) Do you take time off?
My final giveaway winner from Christmas week is Jen Craig. I haven't found a way to contact you yet, so please give a shoutout so I can get your address. Thanks to everyone for coming by and commenting and, as always, thanks for your support of the Word Wranglers.

Blessings to you all!
Liz Flaherty

29 comments:

  1. Somehow that list of questions starts happening for me when I'm about halfway through...and no, I generally don't take any time off. If I'm in writing mode, I try to hang onto it. Happy New Year, Liz!! Can't wait to read It Was Written in the Stars!

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    1. If I'm completely honest, many of the questions start to happen for me from about Chapter Six on. Happy New Year, Nan. I hope you're reading soon!

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  2. I adore this title, it gives me all sorts of fuzzy feelings, and that makes me eager to read the book! Like Nan, those questions start hitting me about the halfway point, but I can muzzle them a little until I hit The End...by then they are clamoring for more attention (obsession?) from me...I do try to take a week or so between books, unless I'm in the middle of a series (like now) so that I have a clean break from characters/setting/etc.

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    1. I did have a cool thing yesterday--one of those aha moments that will help with the proposal for the next book. Gives me good feelings!

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  3. Oh, no... I'm struggling with those questions and I'm only five chapters in!

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    1. Oh, no! I actually think I'm pretty good for the first five! Actually, though, as ridiculous as it sounds, sometimes I feel as if I'm the only person who HAS these questions.

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  4. Plotting is my fav part of writing. I do a story board with sticky notes in case I need to change one out. I love how a plot can change. And I always, always, always have doubts until I get to the 2nd draft stage.

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    1. I plot more than I used to, but I'm terrible at it and not getting any better, I'm afraid. I need to do some kind of story board or book, but all I ever end up with is some very cryptic notes. :-)

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  5. I much less than 10,000 words from the end and I'm agonizing, too. I usually don't have trouble with endings but this book is fighting me and not coming together easily. I don't plot(can't) so this is kind of nerve-wracking and I have doubts pretty much all the way through a book anymore. I miss the old days when I had confidence in my writing and my stories. It seems the older I get the more I agonize. But here's to a New Year. Cheers and best wishes on your book. Great title!

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    1. I feel exactly like you do in the whole "older I get" thing. Endings are an exquisite struggle, and that's one thing that hasn't changed (for which I'm grateful.) Thanks for coming by, Mary.

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  6. LOL....sometimes I get to where I can 'see' the ending, but my characters just won't GET there! I had one story where my H/H were 'almost there', and she kept protesting he had feelings for someone else. I finally had him stop walking, face her, hands on hips, and say, 'If any of that were remotely true, WHY would I be here with you?' That diffused the situation and two chapters later, they got their HEA. WHEW!

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    1. I love aha moments like that--wouldn't it be nice if we could just order them up on demand? :-)

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  7. I so relate with your questions. Another one of mine is "Why am I doing this anyway? I could make more money as Walmart greeter". And then I remember I don't want to do anything else and that writing, despite the doubt, gives me more satisfaction than any job I've ever had.

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    1. One thing about the writing at my stage of the game is that there's no thought of making a living. I love the money I do make, but If that were the reason I were doing it, I'd have given up long before selling my first book. Like you said, there is a satisfaction to that is just unmatched.

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  8. Isn't is sad how our self doubt shows up in our internal dialogue? The good thing is that you pushed through and are close to the end. I love/read ALL your books. I am looking forward to reading It Was Written in the Stars!

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    1. It is sad, and yet crazily enough, it reminds us of what we like about ourselves. Our imperfections, our fears, the things we laugh at. Thank you so much, Carolyn--I'm always so happy to see your name show up here!

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  9. Believe it or not, I love finishing a book. From the black moment to the end is usually the first part of the story that comes to me. I'm always so excited to write it. After it's sent, I take at least a week off.

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    1. I love the finishing, too, Sandy, but it scares me every time! :-) And I'm looking forward to that week off.

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  10. I'm no good at plotting. I'm 8000 words into a new one and have self-doubts every step of the way!

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    1. Oh, Jan, we're sisters of different mothers! Good luck--you'll do great!

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  11. Every single one of those questions run through my head, before, during and after I've written the whole darn thing. That whole "imposter syndrome" hits big time as soon as I've written The End. I also have a "special" word for each book that gets used ad nauseum. My last one was "quite", hehe. Oh, the joys of being a writer.

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    1. Yup. I never remember that term, but that's it, isn't it? Thanks for coming by, Luanna!

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  12. Definitely I take time off: One of the biggest revelations to me as a writer is how many big and little mistakes I find if I let the manuscript cool for at least several weeks before I touch it again.

    I usually have to pause anyway; whenever I hit "the end" I go through a period of depression, where I feel like I'm wandering aimlessly. The only thing that can help is a little time, or starting a new project.

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    1. I agree with letting it cool, and since my deadline is Feb. 1, I don't have that much time for that this time. The next project is beginning to percolate--always a good thing.

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    2. Yeah, deadlines are a whole different thing! I worked for a newspaper for 25 years, so I get that.

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  13. Hi Liz. I thought your post was great. I am not a writer (maybe someday), so can't address your question. I did see that I am a winner. My email address is jencraig67@hotmail.com. What other contact information do you need? Thanks!

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    1. So glad you came by! I've emailed you. Thanks again for visiting the Wranglers.

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  14. Love the title of your new book! Can't wait to read it.

    Right now, I need to get back into writing. The day job and holidays kind of kicked my muse's butt! Hoping to get back into a routine soon.

    Soon. Very, very soon.

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    1. And you will write MORE! :-) It's hard to do when you have a day job AND a life, but you will. You will.

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