Friday, October 10, 2008

And Another Novel Down!

Today I finished the CDE Project. Or, the tentative title, A Cafe Between Reality and Dreams. This is my fourth novel, weighing in at around 76000 words in the first draft. It's also representative of a new challenge--and a new triumph.

You see, my first novel was a fluke. It really was. I did it in bits and spurts over four years. It was a big pain in the ass. It was a bunch of amorphous jelly that I molded into something vaguely book-shaped. It works, I suppose, but it's not great.

Marton Syan was kind of an experiment, more than a book. I wanted to intertwine three storylines, try to get a message out, but mostly I was trying to explore what it meant to be an artist. So ... it wasn't *really* a novel.

NaNo2007. Ways to Commit Suicide When You're Bored. That book ... well, it's half autobiographical, at least in the first draft. So, again, it doesn't count. Lol.

I can make excuses, but CDE is the first book that really felt as thought I was writing a novel. It's much more plot-driven, it's much less connected to who I am. It's in a genre (sci-fi) and it's representative of a set up towards a bigger body of work. It wasn't a treasured baby that I nurtured into life like my other three novels. It was my project. And I did it. And now it's done.

And I can't tell you how fulfilling that feels.

There's a sense of accomplishment that always comes with finishing a work. A comfort, a feeling of having done it. Of a major campaign being over and a goal met and new horizons stretching before you. The weight's off your shoulders, the pressure is off, and you have something to show for it.

Stories are the ultimate hand-crafted item. And they have some of the same satisfaction associated with making anything with your own two hands. Only instead of labor of muscles its the labor of the mind and the heart.

The feeling that comes from successfully concluding something like that is what fuels my drive to do it again. Looking at the next point on the mountain, scanning the horizon, seeing how far you've come. The world stretches out below, and there is still so much more mountain to climb!

Nothing to do but celebrate and get to climbing again.


jamiegrove said...

Congratulations on making it to the end!!! I love that feeling too, at least till it goes away and is replaced with post-novel depression. :)

Literary Rock Star said...

With three weeks until NaNo, I don't have time to feel that depression, thankfully, but I do know what you mean.