and that’s the end.

114k words.

11 months.

A stupid first draft.

Many facepalms and “head-to-desks”.

And I finally finished Esmeralda.

So….

“The End.”

I’m not gonna lie, it was super exciting to type out those two words.  I wrote Esmeralda’s first draft in 100 days exactly (350+ pages) and am quite proud of the fact.  A few of you read that original ending, and can attest to just how dreadful it was.  To be honest, I don’t know that I have the greatest ending now, but I think it’s better.  And for now – since this rewrite took me eleven months – I’m more than willing to just let it sit for a bit.

I felt like a whole chunk of my life was gone when I finished this time.  It was kinda weird, like empty-nesting.  But a good-weird.  I’ll kinda miss my characters, but Finding You is really taking off in my mind and I can’t wait to turn my attention there now.

I wish I had the time / patience to write a drawn out “author’s note” of a post here, but I don’t.  I am so incredibly grateful for all of you who read Esmeralda- especially for the comments and reviews that told me what you were thinking.  You are all so kind and encouraging, and when I’d read that you cared about what happened to the characters, it gave me this giddy feeling in my stomach.  I felt like a real writer, and I don’t know what would have happened to my poor book if I’d never gotten feedback.  There were definitely times when I felt like it wasn’t worth saving, and then I’d find a new comment asking for more.  And that always spurred me on.

I know there are several issues left to work out.  Someday I’ll write a third draft, after I have some understanding of the Russian language, perhaps, and can make Evy’s world into a Russian one.  I’ll fix the inconsistencies, maybe deepen the characters, and work out a few of the issues that Evy would have had after eight years a prison cell.  And amidst all that, I’ll manage to cut it down about 25,000 words.  Yeeaahhh.

(Screenshot of my title page in the word document. ^^  I’m totally laughing at the whole “short novel” thing.  That was a dream that passed quickly.)

There’s much teasing debate at my house as to who I’ll “dedicate” the book to- my little brother insists that he has always been there for me (though he mocks any hint of romance, so…), most of my family is saying that I’d “better not dedicate it to ‘some friend’ because they’ve always supported me”, and my sister Em says I should dedicate it to “Matthew, Marilla, and ‘Gil’” and give it to said “Gil” as he’s dying of scarlet fever.  I  think I like her suggestion best.  😉

My biggest thanks goes to my God, though- without His strength I would be a mess and a shoddy writer, and it’s only by His grace that I’ve gotten as far as I have.

So thanks so much for sticking with me, folks.  I love you all (and I mean that, really- my Figgie friends are some of my dearest).

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  • Phoenix Ranger

    Congratulations on finishing Esmeralda!!!!! 😀 That’s such an amazing accomplishment, and it’s such a wonderful and emotional story to read! I can’t wait until I get to read the very ending. 🙂 Forever in love with the characters that you have created in your story. It truly is one of my favorite stories I have ever read! Please keep us posted in the future if you are planning on publishing or anything. I’m a devoted fan of Esmeralda for life! 🙂 Congrads, again!!!

  • Awww you are so sweet Phoenix!! Your support (and continual comments, which are my favorite) had been so incredible and has definitely helped to keep me going. Thanks dear!! <3

  • Ibelin

    YAY! That must be one of the most awesome feelings in the world! =D

  • Thanks!! It really is. Except now I scarcely know what to do with myself. 😉

  • Tiffany (J.A.)

    I know I’ve said this to you before, but OH MY GOSH, CONGRATULATIONS!!! And writing it this time, I’ve actually caught up and gotten to the end with you! It was just amazing.

    But I have one suggestion. If you centered “The End”, it would seem more final. Just saying. LOL 😛

    Okay, maybe I have another suggestion as well. I never seem to give you editing advice, do I? So I’ll give it a shot this once 😛 In one of the last chapters, I thought you could word a sentence better – it went something along the lines of “and Nicolai’s possible hunt for my love”. In this case, I don’t think you should refer to Leo as “my love”, because it may give the misconception that Nicolai is possibly hunting for Evy’s love. Like, by that, I mean her love – not HER love, as in Leopold, and now I’m making no sense… I still hope you get the point though, lolz 😛

  • Sara-Anne L.

    Congratulations! That’s so exciting!
    Are you planning to publish? If you’re interested, here’s the link to my blog about the process of self-publishing my finished novel (not on figment).
    http://moonshinered.blogspot.com/
    I’m still learning about the process and haven’t made any decisions yet but I’m blogging about what I learn 🙂
    Because, um, not to discourage you but writing is the easy part compared to publishing. You have a good start with your figment fan base though! I’d be interested in knowing how figment helps you with publicity.
    Anyway, great job on finishing! Esmeralda is one of those books that makes you want to live your life with the characters. I love it 🙂 My only suggestion on the ending would be to drag it out a little bit in your next revision. It feels a little rushed, especially with all the traveling coming after so many chapters of staying in one place. That should be a fairly easy fix, though. Is there a reason you wanted to cut it down to 25,000 words?

  • Sara-Anne L.

    Is there a way of subscribing to this blog?

  • Haha oooh yes, Tiffany, you’re amazing. Yes, that’s a good suggestion, I can understand the confusion. 😀 Thank you darling. And thank you!!! I’m so happy to have finished. Yikes.

    Sarah-Anne- I don’t know- I wouldn’t pursue publishing yet, because I still have SO much to change and fix and work out. But I just glanced over your blog and I love it!! Thank you ever so much! I honestly don’t know anything about that whole world, so I really appreciate the help! And thank you so much for the suggestions!! They’re so helpful.

    Oh, I suppose I was unclear- I don’t want to cut it to 25,000 words, I want to get rid of about 25,000 words. It’s too long for a first publication, for a publisher to look at. :/ So that will come later.

    And I don’t know that there is a way to subscribe to my site, but thanks for asking! I’ll see if I can figure that out. 🙂

  • Wow. Congratulations. This is so great!

  • Thanks love. 🙂 I couldn’t have done it without encouragement like yours every. stinkin’. step. of. the. way. You’re amazing.