Yesterday, I wrote a lot about the research that I've done on my journey to becoming a published author. All of that research will be well worth the time and effort, but first I need to actually finish my Young Adult novel!
Whenever I finish something important, or I have some creative breakthrough, I can't wait to tell my parents about it. I read the first three chapters to my mom and dad back when we were still living in New York, sometime during the school year I think. But then we would be interrupted or we had too much to do preparing for the move, and life got in the way, so I never finished reading anything else to them. My mom actually said she would rather wait for everything to be finished, because it was making her crazy needing to wait to hear just a little bit at a time.
Even though I haven't read anything else to them, my parents are still so supportive of my writing and always appear interested when I give them updates. I'll tell them if I finished a chapter, or I'll sit down and explain how I changed a certain part and suddenly everything flows more easily. They probably get bored after a while, but my mom and dad let me talk about my writing as much as I want.
Tonight, I was thrilled to tell my parents that I had finished another chapter in the book. With only two chapters to go, I'm just about finished with the biggest project I've ever tackled. When I told my mom about hitting this milestone, I had just walked out of my bedroom and was headed into the kitchen for a drink. She asked me, "Why do you limit yourself like that?" I thought she meant that I should have just kept writing, instead of getting up after the chapter was finished and heading to the kitchen. What she actually meant was, why did I put those limits on myself of how many chapters I still had to write? Why didn't I just write until the book was finished?
My mom brought up a good point, but I explained the way that I was working to her. I didn't tell myself that I needed to write a certain amount of chapters, or that I had to hit a certain word count before my book could be finished. Instead, I had mapped out exactly what my major plot points were going to be throughout the book, and then lined those up with different chapters. I filled in some minor plot points on my outline and reviewed it to ensure that it made sense, and it did. I was left with an outline that listed each chapter, any points I wanted to write about throughout the chapters, and when that part of the story was taking place.
Of course, my outline did change a bit once I was in the midst of writing. I added some plot points to my notes, took some pieces out that weren't relevant, and I even switched some chapters around. I actually thought long and hard about key points that I could add to the story to make it one chapter longer, because the number of chapters I started with just didn't seem right to me. But in the end, it made absolute sense to have each chapter in my outline and it was just a matter of actually sitting down to write each one.
If I could have told the story completely and taken out a chapter, then I would have done so. I didn't really box myself into promising that I would write every chapter that I originally intended to write. In the end though, my outline has continued to make sense as I've written each part of my book, and I haven't had to make any major cuts. I'll definitely have to edit and revise the story after the original draft is complete, and if something seems like it doesn't belong, then I'll delete it. But as of right now, I feel confident that I need both of my last two chapters in order for the story to be whole and complete any plot lines that were woven throughout the rest of the book.
Now I just look forward to the next time I can tell my parents, "I finished another chapter!" The only difference this time will be that I'll have just one little chapter to complete after that. I'm so close to the end that I can taste it! I can't wait to read the whole book from start to finish and see what I've created!
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