I suppose a book is never truly finished, but yesterday, I completed a solid draft of my novel/thesis project. There’s much more editing ahead; indeed, the binding copy is due in April, and I will have to revise based on my advisor’s feedback. But it feels great to look at the document and know that the writing is consistent, the plot is stronger, and that I’ve begun (it’s not truly finished) to grasp my characters’ motivations and emotions.
I began this novel in 2005 as a sequel to a novel I had completed but eventually decided to shelve. About four years ago, I rewrote/revised about half of the novel and then abandoned it when I hit a block. When I needed some pages to workshop for a class last winter, I dug out the first 20 pages. For a self-editing course this fall, I continued revising it, and it made sense to finish rewriting it for my thesis project. And yesterday, I finished.
I’m pleased with the changes I’ve made. Originally, it had a “chick-lit” quality to it, both in content and structure, that felt dated and false. While by no means is this the “Great American Novel,” the writing is more mature. Gone are the little snarky asides and one-word quips. My chick-lit novel has graduated to women’s fiction. I’ll take it! There’s a decent market for that genre, and with more revision, I’d like to have it ready for querying by the end of the summer.
But for now, I’m enjoying the feeling of accomplishment and the sense of relief that I will graduate with the MA this May.