Starting and Finishing

Everyone has heard the apothegm, “Finish what you start.” But obviously some things that we start are harder to finish than others. A full-length book is one of the things many people undertake but ultimately find too time-intensive or challenging to finish. Many times it is a lack of motivation that leaves a person with a half-finished book.

I have the lucky distinction of being able to say that I have actually started and finished writing a book. This spring I had a lot of time on my hands, and my Mom challenged me to expand a short story I had written into a full-length book. This gave me the necessary motivation to actually write the book consistently, about a chapter a week, and eventually finish it.

“Finished” is a relative term. When I say finished I mean that I’ve written a first draft that is very, very rough. I haven’t even read most of it. It took about fifteen weeks to write a thirteen chapter book. With all of the words down on paper, now the real work starts: The Editing.

Luckily for me, my very intelligent older brother and my Mother are helping edit my book, both for grammatical and language errors as well as for plots and character development. Hopefully after it has been fully edited, I will be able to publish it in one capacity or another.

My book is about a man living in a medieval world as a simple farmer who is chosen by his twisted and cruel Lord to fight with him in a battle to the death during the annual Spring Festival. The farmer, Jean, is torn from his family and forced into the battle, but he is determined to overcome the Lord, even though no one had ever beat him in the competition. Many people of power in the castle seem to want help Jean, but he cannot figure out who he can trust and who he cannot. On the side, his faithful wife is also trying desperately to help save her husband.

As a writer I am definitely an amateur, and am not highly familiar with what the best way to write a book is, how best to carry a story arc throughout the book, or anything like that. I really just started with an interesting story idea and went at it. The finished project will not be groundbreaking or brilliant, but its somewhere to start. And I don’t want to avoid starting something just because my first result isn’t going to be of superlative quality. If I did that, I never would have learned anything, not even how to walk.

 

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