In the past I have written a new novel, but this time I added to a novel I had already started. Well, it's the end of November and I've finished, but not won the challenge. Not won, because I only wrote 37,398 words. Finished, because I finished the story.
I have talked before about writing being art and craft. The art is the creative invention of the story and the characters. You need to get all the ideas recorded. Then comes the craft, which is just as important, when you edit and rewrite and create a well-structured novel that is ready for readers.
So I have now finished the art. All the ideas are in, the plot is laid out, the characters have their trials and tribulations, and there's a happy ending.
I'm going to go through it to fix any obvious problems, then put it away for a while to get some distance from the story. Otherwise you read what you meant to write, rather than what you actually wrote. Then you can find more problems, and might have had some good ideas for improving the story too.
So there's still a long way to go, but a huge hurdle is over. Hooray!
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz