“The Necklace,” “When Life Depends,” “Forest of Dreams,” “The Captor,” All are titles of fragmented stories, each representing a year of my life. Ever since fifth grade, I have wanted to be a published author. However, one problem emerged soon after I began to write that first novel: I had no endurance. I would immerse myself into writing a wonderful novel. I would spend weeks thinking of titles, drawing outfits, and picturing what the characters would say to one another. But without fail, the light that had shined through my ideas would be quenched within the same year.
Though I had no endurance in finishing novels, I could boast stamina in continuing the craft. Why did I never give up? Simple: I loved to write. I adored the rush of words that would come to me as I wrote, the thrill of envisioning the perfect sentence and then reading it in hushed tones, tasting the words on my lips. I enjoyed dreaming up new characters—pulling names from thin air, picturing their features, and discovering their strengths and weaknesses.
Therefore, when I heard of National Novel Writing Month in November, I jumped at the chance. By writing 50,000 words in thirty days there was a distinct possibility that I could start and finish a novel within one short month. Pushing my frailty aside, I wrote a rushed outline and prepared to begin writing the required 1,667 words a day. By the second week, I had writer’s block—a dangerous ailment when writing so many words a day. However, it was through those two days without writing that I discovered more about my writing then I could ever think possible. My weakness—comparison to famous, published novels—was discovered. I spent days bettering my novel, imagining new plot twists, tying together sentences that were meaningless days before. I jumped back into the writing process with renewed gusto and by the end of the month, I had completed the required 50,000 words.
However, my novel was only half-way completed. My low level of endurance screamed at me to forget the novel. You can never finish it. It will never get published. It is not even good. My mind hurled complaints at my spirit. At times, I was sorely tempted to give in and forget the manuscript on my computer. But I could never leave my characters. Over the month of frantic writing, I had formed a bond with my characters, figments of my own imagination. I could not leave them to fend for themselves.
Finally, on June 30, I completed my novel. I designed a cover, wrote a summary, and sent it in to be self-published. The day I opened the box to see the five, gleaming, paperback copies was perhaps the best day of my life.
I am proud of my first completed novel. It demonstrates the end of a battle I have fought for seven years and the unfinished stories of years past are battle scars leading the way to a beautiful victory. Was it worth it? I ask as I hold the black book in my hands and trace the fire silhouette.