I believe I failed to mention that I reached the ending of my first novel. I failed to mention it because when it actually happened, I discovered that it was not particularly newsworthy. Because although I now know where and how this story ends, I am by no means finished with it. There is a still a long way to go before I can feel confident that I have written a complete manuscript. Almost before I'd gotten to the end, I was rewriting parts of the beginning and middle, and adding whole new scenes. I think parts of it are pretty good, almost readable in fact. Parts of it are absolute drivel. And parts are missing. So now I'm adding, fixing, tweaking, revising, and so forth. Some of it is fun, but some of it is rather miserably hard work. I am hopeful that all of this work will eventually make for a halfway decent book. Meanwhile, I just keep writing. And rewriting. And rewriting some more. And then once I've done all that, I'm thinking I'll go back and do it again, from the beginning. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is, a little. It's like polishing away layers of grit and grime and tarnish to find out if what's underneath might actually be valuable. I'm discovering (inventing, really) nuances to my characters and my world that I didn't think about before.
In my first draft, my focus was just on getting the story out of my head and into actual words. Now I want to take the essential parts of that story, the parts I've already written, and make them into something that other people might someday enjoy reading. Because honestly, why write if not for others to read and enjoy?