it is done.

This morning at 2:15AM, I wrote THE END at the bottom of the master Scrivener file for That Damn Novel.  (Not its actual title, mind you…more an internal working title for the last few months.)

Some metrics:

  • 119,735 words
  • 24 chapters
  • 479 pages
  • Almost, but not quite, twelve months from start to completion

And now the manuscript will go into a virtual desk drawer for at least two weeks before I pull it out and look at it again to start editing.  I’d like to pare it down to less than 110,000 words, and if I’ve learned one thing from this whole novel-writing business, it’s that you can always cut 10% off the draft (and it will invariably improve and tighten up the narrative.)

This novel is the third one I’ve completed since 2006.  The first two are 55,000 and 94,000 words, respectively, so if the manuscript growth trend continues, the next one will be a 150,000-word tome.

This one was also my Process Discovery novel.  Up until now, I’ve written everything directly on the computer or the Neo.  This one was a change from the usual process, as I was tinkering with different writing methods to keep the creative pump primed during the dreaded Mid-Novel Slump.  I started writing it on the computer, continued on the Neo, and regressed to lower technology along the way.  Chapters 13 through 17 were written mostly on the manual typewriter (Olympia SM-9), and from Chapter 18 on, I switched to pen and paper, transcribing the handwritten pages into Scrivener whenever I had a decent stack of them.  In the process, I developed a serious addiction for the feel of a fountain pen nib on paper, and I discovered that the forced revision pass built into the longhand/transcribe method made for less wordy and more streamlined writing.  

Now I’m going out into town to take my Saturday morning Dadcation, and maybe pick up a bottle for a private celebration tonight. The novel, she is finished!


19 thoughts on “it is done.

  1. vince says:

    Congrats! Marko.

    Enjoy yourself today- sounds like you’ve earned it.

  2. Sean says:

    Congratulations sir, on the end of the effort (for now!) – Enjoy Dadurday…and your bottle. I look forward to reading the next updates in the process.

  3. scotaku says:

    Congratulations, and of course your Dadurday libation should be appropriate. I suggest something in the single-malt genre, with perhaps a small bit of good, clear ice to help soften it up a little.

    In fact, that seems like such a good prescription…

  4. Adam says:

    Congratulations – I cannot imagine the immense joy of that accomplishment you are feeling.

  5. Tiffani says:

    Woot Marko!!
    Congrats, and here’s to you writing THE END many, many more times (on *other* books, of course 🙂

  6. mac says:

    Congratulations! Enjoy the satisfaction of completing a long, difficult project. If you’re like me, the afterglow never lasts long enough.

  7. Brian Dale says:

    Congratulations, and Well Done.

  8. Cat says:


  9. MarkHB says:

    I knew you could do it. And I know you’ll do it again.

    A lot. Because you love doing it.

    Good luck out there, my brother from another mother. I’m very, very proud of you.

  10. joated says:

    Nice going! Enjoy your celebration. Relax and do some work around the house for a couple of weeks and then–WHAM!–get that final draft ready to be sent out.

  11. Strikethru says:

    I salute you sir. Writing novels is DAMNED hard. I know because I am trying and failing to do it myself. Anyone who has never tried has NO idea.

  12. rickn8or says:

    Nothing feels quite so good as finishing a big project, does it??

    Now. Let it ferment a couple of weeks and get the edit done.

  13. LittleRed1 says:

    Congrats and well done!

  14. Congratulations to you, Marko! Looking forward to seeing it on the shelf (*ahem* FLYING OFF the shelf) at my local book store.

  15. T.Stahl says:


    Congratulations! It feels sooo good to complete a project.
    Now I’m looking forward to the book hitting the shelves of Amazon.

  16. hsoi says:


  17. Robert says:


  18. Hober Short says:

    Reading too fast made “This one was also my Process Discovery novel.” into “This one was also my Disney Princess novel.”

    Double-take of the day.

  19. Lissa says:

    Brava, Marko!

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