November is over, and I have a new novel. Wow. Anyone who's interested can download the entire thing here: Bibliomorph.pdf (348kb). Final word count: 50,895. Right now, my main reaction to it all is that I'm glad I'm done. It's been a lot of writing and I was really ready to be finished with it. But unlike banging one's head against a wall, I'm also glad to have done it for reasons besides the fact that I got to stop.
It's pretty darn incredible to stop and think that I have actually written an entire novel. After the first chapter or two I had probably already surpassed the entire fiction output of my life up until that point, but I ended up getting it to 170+ pages. It's not going to be winning any awards or anything, but it's one long coherent story and it still completely boggles my mind that I was able to do that at all.
I'm also going to be reading novels entirely differently now that I have some first-hand experience of what goes into actually writing one. Already I find myself noticing and paying attention to more and different things because of the way I can imagine myself in the author's place. And I like that.
Thanks to everyone who read along and/or encouraged me as I went. It was a little nerve wracking at times to think that people would actually read the stuff I was spewing out, but it also helped me get things done, knowing that someone was waiting for the next installment. And I really appreciated the support and occasional brainstorming assistance. Congratulations also to Andrea, who finished a few days ago, and to Chris, who should finish tonight after he writes the last 7,500 (!) words.
We will now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.