The nine stages of FINALLY finishing your story

Now that the end of Nanowrimo is coming up, I’m sure there will be plenty of writers who will be jumping up and down with joy when they reach that elusive 50k goal. Some may even finish their novels. And if you’re one of them? Well, cheers to you.

I’m also hoping there are a few others out there like me who started Nanowrimo, quickly chucked in the towel on day two, then spent many leisurely evenings sipping wine and… doing nothing much at all.

Regardless of which camp you belong to, most of you can probably relate to or are eagerly anticipating the following nine stages: (and I bloody well hope you can relate, otherwise there must be something wrong with me)

1. You’ve just typed ‘the end’ and… no – no words. No words to describe it



2. But when it does finally sink in .25 seconds later, all you can do is dance around the house like a crazy person – though your housemates are a little confused as to why

dancing cat


3. Then suddenly you’re crying, and it’s one of those full on ugly cries – and you have no clue why and you just want to hide so no one can see



4. But if you’re going to be totally honest – you’re crying because you feel pretty darn chuffed with yourself

confident cat


5. And you can’t wait to tell all of your cats friends about your super incredible achievement



6. So you have a huge party to celebrate, which usually involves wine and a whole bunch of crazy shit

embarrassed cat


7. The next day you’re so hung over that you can’t even adult



8. When the wine fog clears, you realise you don’t even know what to do with your self. What’s the answer to life, the universe and everything?? What’s the reason for being??



9. But then you realise you still have to… EDIT YOUR STORY. And… IT’S NOT OVER. And… YOU MAY AS WELL JUST GIVE UP NOW. It might only be a 200 word flash fiction piece, but that’s beside the point

2015 - 1

45 thoughts

  1. • Looks like about 400k people may begin a NaNo novel this year.
    • About 40k of them will finish (not technically, but they will have written 50k words).
    • About 20-40 may get traditionally published.
    • And the same will get self-published.
    • That works out to be:
    40 / 40k = 0.1% published titles.

    • If we double that, say it takes two years to get published, that’s still just 0.2% of written novels completed during NaNo that will get published.

    And those 40 novels written and published /pale/ in comparison to the over 200k that will be published (self and traditional) this year alone, IN THE US alone!

    There has never been a worse time in history to try and get a novel published. And in fact, it’s worse. Small publishers are folding right and left.

    HOWEVER, those who pick up the gauntlet and whack themselves about the face with it — that glove being the lambskin, spiked glove of writing itself — won’t need to get published. It will be the writing process and the ever unfinished honing of skill that drives these writers on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I almost couldn’t believe it when I finally wrote The End at the beginning of my first draft (non-NaNo). I would have done a crazy little happy dance but honestly I was too wiped.
    I really couldn’t believe it when I added it up: 160,000 words. And then – you said it! – I had to edit the beast. Many moons later, Restoration Day is 60,000 words slimmer and (DV) coming out in January!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. 160,000 words? Wow that’s absolutely amazing, how on earth did you manage that!? My first drafts are usually pretty short at a paltry 60-70k words, but when I do my first edit they usually grow to about 80k. How exciting that you have a book coming out!! Congrats 🙂 Is it traditional or indie?


      1. Indie – paperback through IngramSpark and ebooks distributed through the usual channels by Draft2Digital. It’s definitely been a learning curve!
        The first draft was only so long because I put in Every. Single. Detail. Most of which didn’t need to be there! I’m hoping with time I can learn to write slimmer drafts like yours 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I still remember when I finished the first draft of my first novel back when I was 19 – I genuinely thought I was done and I remember feeling SUPER excited…. then I had a party… then I did a bit of research about getting your novel published and realised…. OH GOD I HAVE TO EDIT THIS BASTARD!? hahaha. I really had no clue back then. I thought you could just chuck a shitty first draft at publishers/agents and they would see through the muck and proclaim ‘we love it so much we’ll sign you on the spot!’ Poor, naïve me ahahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Just hit 30,000 and feeling fatigued and now writing absolute garbage… will still be posting it all next week.
    You’re post helping me to keep going.
    So thanks for that.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m so far behind with NaNoWriMo that I might as well throw in the towel. However, your description of what comes at the end inspired me to get my fingers back on the keyboard. I want to get to the point where I sink through the pillow and disappear.

    Liked by 5 people

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