At 3:00 a.m. this morning, I finished the first draft of Into the Grey, a novel that has been the most difficult one to write so far. As always, I felt a huge sense of relief, a bit of sadness, and more than a bit of elation. As it's a first draft, it's rough around the edges, but as I've said many times before, first drafts are for story; second drafts are for pretty.
I've also mentioned that I am a wing-it sort of writer. With this novel, the ending threw me for a complete loop. I was totally not expecting what happened. I was grinning and grimacing the entire time I was frantically typing out the words. As it turns out, it is a much better ending than the one I'd envisioned. I'm glad the characters steered me in the right direction.
Now I'm sitting here with coffee in hand, a good night's sleep behind me, and I feel that funny little post-novel let down. I've been so wrapped up in the characters and now I have to leave their world behind. But it's a good thing and in a few months, when it's time to reread and edit, I'll get to hang out with them again for a time.
I'll be focusing on short fiction for a few weeks, and then I'll start the first draft of another novel. Hopefully that one won't be such a brat.