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January 31, 2011

The End . . . Or is It?

Over the weekend I finished the rough draft of a book I've been working on for more than a year, and yet this morning feels like every other Monday.  No great sense of accomplishment or closure or loss.  Finishing the rough draft of my first novel, I'd mourned for days--missing the characters, the story, the experience of writing and daunted by the idea of editing.  It seems odd to feel nothing upon finishing this manuscript, but I suppose I've come to realize the ending of a rough draft is no ending at all.

I'm planning to let the manuscript rest for a couple weeks (or a month if I can hold off that long) before I start reading it.  In the meantime I'll be working on short stories, a form I haven't worked in outside a few college assignments long ago.  Writing shorts should be good practice, and I'm hoping it will help me tighten my plot pacing.  I'm really looking forward to a few weeks of something different.

Photo by Alex Basnett
Since it's a Monday like all other Mondays, I'm bound to offer a writing prompt.  Imagine a scenario that, in life, you'd consider an ending and begin your writing exercise there.  You might take the narrative backward and show how things arrived at that end, or you might re-think the "ending" as a beginning of something new.  Play around with the idea without too much directed thought and see where it takes you.  

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