Monday, April 22, 2013

A Map for That

Well, I made it. I've finished William Bernhardt's Level III Writing Seminar and I'm still alive. If only just.

In Level I, we covered the beginning third of our books and focused on structure. In Level II, we worked on the middle section and focused on plot and character arcs. In Level III, we finished the book.

I do feel reinvigorated about my ending. Until now, no one except my mother (and spectacular editor) had read it, and like I talked about in my previous post, I was a bit nervous about how it would be received. But on the last day of the seminar, as per tradition, Bill took us all out to lunch. There was something so final about sitting around a table eating fish and chips. Something melancholic. It was done. We'd made it.

Now what?

I've got a couple of scenes to write (or add to) in the middle of my book, but that's pretty much it. After I get those done, I'll be sending my manuscript off to agents and my beta readers. This book I started a year ago has come full circle and is ready to be sent out into the world.

I would like to say that my experience writing my first novel has been made infinitely easier thanks to Bill's seminars. When I first attended his Level I, I only had thirty or forty pages written. Because I had so little on paper and the Level I lectures focused mainly on structure and outlining, I was able to fix any major structure/plot issues before they happened. I also don't have much in the way of excess scenes. Neither I nor my editor (or readers) have run into any scenes that need to be deleted. In fact, I've got to add a couple in. My very thorough outline has given me an easy map to follow.

And now I've reached my destination. I've got a finished product and I'm preparing to send it out into the world.

I wish I had a map for that.

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