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I Finished My Novel!

I have big news for you today. Are you ready? I FINISHED MY NOVEL, LEGACY OF SECRETS!! Well, I have finished the first draft of my novel. I’m really excited and proud. I’ve been working on this novel for the past three or four years. I honestly lost count.

I have a full-time job and a family, so it has been slow going. I also faced a common writer problem, I lost interest in my story. There is only so much time you can spend with someone before you need a break. The same is true with my main character, Sally. Therefore, I put my book on the back burner a few times. I couldn’t leave it alone for long, though.

I often send my work to my best friend for her opinion when I write a new piece. Naturally, I sent her the first few chapters of my novel for her opinion when I started it. Time passed, and I sent several other pieces for her to read. She willingly read them and offered her opinion on each one. Then one day she asked, “Why don’t you just finish the book you started? I want to see what happens.” Well, I couldn’t deny her simple request, could I? I had apparently done a good job of hooking her attention.

I started working on the book again in earnest. I spent all of my free time writing. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in a day, and I haven’t figured out how to clone myself or go without sleep. My house suffered, but so what? There are three other adults in the house. They are all capable of dishes, laundry, and mopping. After a while, they stepped up and took care of those little things. My husband has been especially supportive.

It has taken a long time for me to finish Legacy of Secrets. Most of it was written in spurts. Attending writing retreats has helped a great deal. I wrote four chapters at my last retreat. Taking vacation days from my job to work on my book also helped, but what made me write the most consistently was joining my critique group.

My group expected me to submit new work for critique every month. They wouldn’t accept the excuse, “I was too busy to write.” I agreed that I was a serious writer and would continue to make progress when I joined. They have held me to that promise, and I’m grateful.

At first, I was just polishing what I had already written and submitting it. After a while, I found myself writing the required number of pages every month just to keep up with the group. There were times when I pulled ahead of the group, but not many. They expected to see more of the story every month. They were invested in my work. Like my best friend, the members of my critique group want to know what happens. I’m happy to say that they will find out soon.

Now the first draft of Legacy of Secrets is complete, I will begin the editing process. Several of the chapters have already been edited, but the majority of the novel is still raw. I have given myself an extremely tight deadline. I have the opportunity to pitch my book to two publishers on August 18th, and I’ve made appointments to do so. Therefore, I’m using the next couple days to edit, and then I’m sending my book to my beta readers. I hope to have their feedback in time to make some final changes before I pitch in just over two weeks.

If I don’t try, I will never know if I would have succeeded.

Thank you for reading Ozarks Maven! If you’ve enjoyed my little seeds of wisdom and joy, please subscribe to Ozarks Maven, Like Ozarks Maven on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter @OzarksMaven.

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