There’s a word in Finnish: työvoitto. It means a victory where you had to push through with a lot of work until, finally, you come out on top. And let’s be clear; this is not a task or project that has a lot of work associated with it that all eventually gets done, oh no. This is a task or project where more or less everything that can go wrong, goes wrong until you finally manage to wrangle the project to completion and collapse on the finish line.
In related news: I finished a novel today.
This is the novel of my heart, the first thing I started to write when I started writing again. This was the third time I wrote the first draft of this novel. The sixth outline. I started work on this version of the novel in October last year. I finished my outline by about the halfway point of NaNoWriMo and then wrote about 40.000 words by January 15th when I got stalled. It turned out, I got stalled because I was writing the wrong story.
Cue heartbreak, demoralization, cries of “I am unworthy!”.
Eventually, after coming close to a burn out trying to get a month’s worth of work done in two weeks, I picked myself up, dusted myself off and started writing. Again. I got to know a new POV character and after a bumpy start finally made peace with her. I wrote and I wrote, on track to get the thing done by the deadline, planning to finish at 110.000 words. *laughter* Yeah, no. Two weeks ago I realized that the end result was going to be about 150.000 words, not 110.000 words.
Cue panic, wailing, ridiculous days with 7.000 words done in a day (my normal is about 2.000 when I’m well-rested), picking up the pace of action.
But I finished. Today I finished the book of my heart that has no doubt taken 10 years off my life. I ended up finishing at 126.00 mostly because the last three scenes were much shorter than average for this project and I more or less completely bracketed the villain’s last POV chapter because I just could not find it in me to go back into his head. This thing will need a LOT of editing and probably a complete rewrite, but at least the story is pretty solid and – for now, at least – I think this is one of the best things I’ve ever written. It was totally worth it, but I’m also glad it’s over.
And then, as a housekeeping thing, my first week of Clarion Write-a-thon, I have managed to gather 29 hours out of my goal of 150, all on the novel. Next week, I’ll finally be working on something else. I wonder if there is anything else ever, anywhere? We will find out! You can still sponsor me for Clarion Write-a-thon, here.