I've finished NaNoWriMo (50,000 words, a small novel or novella) something like 4 times. I've yet to finish a story. That is about to change.
Of course, even when this story is done and I can write the words The End on the bottom of the page (and then promptly delete them -- how cheesy would that be?), the novel is far from finished. Rewriting, adding, cutting (and cutting, and cutting): these are the things that turn mediocre ramblings into something that anyone would have half a mind to read. Take, for example, the first chapter I posted a few days ago. Nothing much has changed with regard to substance. Even when I first wrote it, more than a year ago now, it told the story of Victoria and her young ward, Emma, traveling to her former home of Arden to conscript her nephew. The story is the same. But the structure? The wording? The flow (or, in the case of the initial draft, lack thereof)? Day. And. Night.
So yes, I plan on replicating that process for each and every of the nearly fifty chapters (many of which may, thankfully, disappear entirely). But that's for later. For now, I can't stop being excited about the prospect of having a complete manuscript. It's intoxicating, the idea that I could send this document (.odt, natch) to someone and have them comprehend the complete story the way I do. It would be a chore to read, oh yes, full of plot holes, inconsistent characters, time jumps and plodding description. But it would be a story with a beginning, middle and end.
It has been one of my lifelong dreams to write a book, regardless of whether or not I can send it into the world at large. And though I have many dreams, this one is nearing fruition. I can't complain about that.
Matt Borgard is almost officially a novelist, I guess?