The Homestretch

I've entered the homestretch of a novel I've been writing, on and off, since early this year. After spending a lot of time researching the book, building up the setting (both in my mind and on the page), and narrowing down the characters I want to focus on, I've passed 55,000 words, or 220 pages, and I am now on the steep down slope toward the final third of the book.

I don't know how other writers feel, but I usually enjoy writing the last third of a novel the most-especially when you've planned out the ending ahead of time and it feels inevitable (not to mention awesome). In the last third of a novel's rough draft, everything thing you've been painstakingly building toward finally starts paying off as the plot builds to a final crescendo and your characters are put through the action wringer. Hopefully, if you're lucky and you've built a solid fictional foundation, you feel the same kind of amped-up buzz as the reader while you enter that last homestretch of a novel(though it may be tempered slightly by mental exhaustion and the fact that the steep climb of editing and polishing the book still lies ahead).

Whenever I enter this deep into a novel I'm working on, I think about it if I happen to wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall back asleep right away-the characters and the trouble I've made for them play like shadows across my mind.


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