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manuscriptHow much is too much? I continue to write on in my draft of a novel. I love every minute of writing it. It’s not perfect, and it may never see the light of day. I may be the only one who every reads it. I just don’t know yet. My characters are still talking to me and telling me to write more. I am obsessed with them.

So I continue to write – usually at noon and at night, sometimes in the middle of the night. I almost always write something every day. I put it aside a few weeks ago while I read novels instead of writing one, and I missed it! It was good to take a break from it for a bit, but the characters kept talking to me. I couldn’t wait to get back to them.

I’m up to 262,000+ words. They’re not all good words so don’t let that number startle you. The story hasn’t reached its conclusion yet. It’s had lots of things happen in it. It has lots more to come. Ideas occur to me, and I add them. How do I know when to stop? I just don’t know yet. I’ve just been going with the flow and letting it go on and on until I reach the point where I’m either bored with it, tired of it, or it reaches its logical conclusion. I know it needs massive editing, but I don’t want to do that until I reach my quit point. It also needs someone kind to read it when I’m ready so they can tell me if it’s any good or not. I just don’t know yet.

I think my effort runs on and on because I never could work from an outline. I always found an outline to be too restricting. If I try to work from one, I never stick to it. At some point, when I get all my ideas out, I will probably go back and do a reverse outline and structure the story I’ve got to fit the outline so that the book has a beginning, a middle and an ending.

Who knows? Maybe this isn’t a novel. Maybe it’s two. Maybe it’s just an exercise in creative writing. Whatever it is, it’s been good for me and I don’t regret all the time I’ve spent on it. It’s been a confidence booster. I’ve enjoyed creating characters that feel like real people to me. They are funny with unique personalities of their own.

I don’t think this is going to be the next great American novel. That’s okay. Heck, I’d be satisfied with publishing a trashy romance novel. What I have so far is part romance, part ghost story, part Young Adult and part erotic novel. Will all those genres remain in the final version? I just don’t know that yet either.

Prior to this novel and this set of characters, I made several starts and stops and attempts at writing a book. Nothing ever worked. They were childish and trite. Even the children’s book I wrote starring a squirrel, as the main character, didn’t work. I got quite a bit of that one written before I got tired of it. For some reason, the characters I’m writing about now stuck. I kept going. Does that mean something? I just don’t know yet.

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