… quit, that is.
Here I am, 44,451 words into a story I think is crap and I don’t think it’s worth my keeping at it… Okay, the story may not be that bad, but it’s not good either. Nowhere near good, or okay, or even ‘you could read it if you had nothing else lying about.’
I’m stuck. I don’t know how the story is going to get to its end; that is to say, I don’t quite know what it needs to be considered finished. What I’ve got is close, but it is not an ending. And it doesn’t connect all the dots. And it’s trite. It’s full of shallow characters, who don’t all have names, and one of them hasn’t said anything (well, she has, now that I think of it, but it isn’t anything important) …
What I need to do, dear readers, is finish the story anyway. Regardless of what I may feel or think. Why? because, one: I am so close to ‘winning’ this challenge, it would be silly to give up within sight of the finish line; two: the point of this exercise was not to produce an awesome fantastic completely edited and polished piece of writing (which is good, because what I’ve produced is so far from that); three: as many writers have averred, learning to finish is a difficult but critical lesson. In NaNoWriMo’s ‘Week Four Pep Talk from Brandon Sanderson,’ he wrote:
“The biggest jump in quality I made as a writer came in finishing my first book and starting my second. Writing an ending, then being able to look back and see the entire book, taught me more about the process than years of education, years of reading, and years of starting ever had. Finishing one book is more valuable than a dozen creative writing courses and a thousand books started. I’ve seen this time and time again in other writers I know.”
I’ll take his advice and push through this, finish my novel, even though I do not believe him… I do believe that finishing a novel IS transformative and highly valuable, and all those fine things Mr.Sanderson wrote, I just don’t believe that my finishing this novel will accomplish all those things.
“It doesn’t matter. Keep writing.” I do not have faith, but I will continue, anyway.