I realized today that my story is almost over. I’m attempting to finish up chapter 19, and the current scene is a pre-battle between protagonist and antagonist. The antagonist is going to win, for now, but the final confrontation between the two is imminent.
The realization took me by surprise. I thought the story would be longer. At this point, extending the story more than just a couple more chapters, tops, would be only be drawing it out. Any roadblocks I throw in won’t make any sense to the plot. The final battle needs to happen, and it needs to happen soon.
When I began this project, I had no idea how many words or chapters it would contain. I just knew where it was going to end, and whatever happened in between, well, that’s how many chapters it would turn out to be. But I still thought it would be longer.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a good thing. Seeing the end of this project is thrilling, and a welcome addition to the drudgery of pounding out chapters with no end in sight. It’s just unexpected. And a little scary. A project is safe in development mode. It’s only when it’s done that you have to share it with the world and try to make something out of it.
It could still end up being longer. Finishing the first draft by no means signals that the book is finished. There are definitely things I want to change, as I’ve already talked about in Rewrite Sticky Notes. I can always add in plot points, and plot twists, and new characters. But I need to add them in the beginning chapters, where they’ll seem natural and not like a last-minute effort to extend the story. That’s what edits are for, after all. To change everything you didn’t get right the first time around.
I’ve worked hard to get to this point. The fact that it’s approaching faster than expected is an added bonus.