Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I am done!!!

I am done!
I am done!
Dancing-jig time has begun!
Cause my tail can finally shed
this hard computer chair of mine.

I am done!
I am done!
I can finally have some fun.
No more typing till my fingers hurt
and pains shoot up my spine.

I am done!
I am done!
Relaxation time has come.
I will soak in hot, sweet-scented oils forever!

I'll put up my feet
Do something indiscreet
'Cause I'm done! I am done! I am done!

Did I say indiscreet? Well, maybe not indiscreet but I'm sure ready to take a few days off.
What's the celebration all about? I, Karen Mittan, have finally finished my book. I never thought I'd see the day!

So many times I've wanted to scrap the whole thing! So many times it seemed beyond me. How do you accurately portray the life of another real human being? How do you express, in clear, interesting prose, what that person was all about--especially as complex a person as my grandfather was? Have I truly accomplished what I wanted to accomplish? I honestly don't know. All I can say is that I've tried. And tonight I was finally able to write THE END.

Yes, now - 388 double-spaced pages and 118,836 words later, I AM DONE!

Tomorrow and the next day I collect the photos I want to include. Friday and Saturday I attend the writers' conference that I've used as the time by which I had to have this project completed. Sunday I entertain out of state guests. And Monday I'll start of the final re-writes.
I've already done a lot of re-writing. In fact, the first re-write is finished on everything but this past week's writing.
But I have a check list of things I need to go over now.

CAUSE AND EFFECT. I think I've done pretty well with that. I believe I understand the concept fairly well.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION - Got it. I think I'm pretty clear there. Only one thing I can think of that I still have to put in.
ARTISTIC UNITY - this is one I'm not sure about. this is where you get rid of the fluff. I've tried to keep my writing focused but I'll have to go over it one more time to make sure.
'WHAT IF' PRINCIPLE - I don't think this one applies so well to most of my book because it, although fiction, is biographical - based heavily on fact. Many of the incidents are fact. I don't want to get into a lot of "what would have happened if this had been the circumstance instead of that?". I'm not trying to change his life- just to portray it.
FOCUS - I think I'm pretty good here.
UNDERSTANDABLE - Ditto. Don't think it's far-fetched. I've done enough research it better be correct!
READER MUST - notice, understand, feel -- going to have to have some readers get back with me on that one. I know what I felt as I wrote it but how does a reader feel? Time will tell.
SCENE - I need to identify each scene, what it tells the reader and how it makes the reader feel. that's gonna take a day or two!
REWARDS - some of this is excellent. Some of it - ??? Necessary background but, oh boy. I'm not so sure.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS - I think I have those down pretty well.

Did you ever realize how much there was to writing a novel? Am I ever learning a lot! Maybe by the time I croak I'll have gotten it down.

Now I need to write my proposal and try to find an agent. With any luck I'll be able to pick one up at the conference. We'll see. But that's why I've worked so hard to finish. I didn't want to try to find an agent until I knew I was actually intelligent enough to put it all together because this past month's writing concerned the pivotal point of his life. It dealt with the events and issues that changed his thinking and, ultimately, the direction of his life.
It's one thing to write about changes in an imaginary person. Sometimes they WON'T do what you'd planned - it just won't work out - but for the most part you, the writer, can make them do pretty much what you want. When you're dealing with a real person, however, and you're trying to be at least relatively true to him or her, you have to be a lot more careful and thoughtful. I've sweated blood and tears over whether I was being true to him. I think I am. I can only hope.

Umpteen hour days at the computer are enough to make a REAL old woman out of me! I've put in more hours a day on this project, since the funeral, than I ever dreamed anyone could con me into doing. But it's done. Finis. THE END.


Rick & Karen Mittan said...

I would very much like to have some reading material... maybe you could send me the copy you are taking to to conference, after you are back, of course. Can't wait to read it!!!

Rick & Karen Mittan said...

sorry, last comment left by Buzzy

Rick & Karen Mittan said...

I was wondering who in the world had left that comment. You'll have it immediately. :)

Tristi Pinkston said...

Congratulations!! That is such a great feeling.