The Last Words

Final word count for first draft: Over 116,000

Hey Reader,

Yeah, that’s right. I finished my first draft yesterday. I don’t know how I did that with my other books… I think it’s the one thing in writing that is almost too hard to do. Not just because it feels like you’re saying goodbye to your book but also because you want to get it just right.

The last words of a book should be powerful… you know? They should mean something, leave your reader at a cliff hanger, or maybe even give them closure. The last words are literally the thing that you’ve been working towards the entire time.

I wrote about ten thousand words yesterday, and by the end of it I was kind of burnt out. And then I realized that I was actually going to finish, and that in itself is enough to get any writer past the finish line.

But to all of you out there who have just crossed the finish line as well, this isn’t it. From here on it isn’t as much of a sprint as it is a long distance run. If you really want to make your book the best it can be, editing is going to take you at least twice as long as writing. More. But then again, it’s not over.

Even John Green has admitted that the best parts of his books come out in later drafts. Like the deeper meaning to Paper Towns and the memorizing of famous last words in Looking for Alaska… Those are the things that people love about his books.

So don’t give up just because you wrote your last words! Those may not even be the last words of the book. And if you haven’t gotten there yet, don’t stress. Just because you’re almost done with draft one doesn’t mean it has to be perfect.

And writing the last words is an amazing feeling! Work towards it. It’s one of those simple little things that bring people so much more joy than they are worth, if those people are lucky enough to experience them. I mean, they are just words. That’s it. Words. Yet, when I finished my last words I felt like I could run a mile.

That could also be the caffeine it took me to get there… but that’s not the point.

Seriously, though. I don’t think we give words enough credit. I wrote an essay about it in seventh grade… the importance and meaning of words. It’s funny to look back on things like that.

I’ve just submitted my book for review before I have it printed… which makes me want to write so much more. I’ve actually built up this need to write every day or else I’ll go crazy (so powerful that I choose writing over Netflix), which is something that I’m gong to let keep going. Even when I’m editing for the next long months, I want to keep those creative juices flowing.

And thanks to all of you who are reading this! We’re up to over 2k follows! That is really amazing…

So my challenge for you is to push through the parts you don’t want to write to get to the climax. Throw yourself into your writing so that you can get to those last words, that last moment when everything comes to a close and you want to laugh and cry at the same time.

I’m telling you, anyone who is reading this and doesn’t write must think I’m out of my mind.

I am.

Again, that’s not the point.

I’ll keep posting every day this week and I hope all of you have a great time writing! And if your done with your first draft and have to step away for whatever reason (like it’s in the mail after being printed…), don’t let all of that drive to write go to waste. Just grab a piece of paper and a pencil and don’t let your hand go for the eraser. This is when you get your best writing done, when you don’t let yourself go back and rewrite.

That’s like taking one step forward and two steps back. It’s not NaNoWriMo anymore (sadly) but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t let your inner editor in before your done. Or when you have ideas. Or really any time other than when you are editing and reviewing what you’ve written.

Like this post if you liked it, and you can follow my website via email, WordPress, or any of the social media widgets on the side. If you are reading this on Goodreads, then you can follow me or add me as a friend!

Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!

Kelli Crockett.

2 Comments on “The Last Words

  1. Good on you, Kelli! I just finished my first draft of 105k words in November (not NaNoWriMo, but maybe next year) and know just what you mean about the last words. They came on suddenly, and I remember how panicked I felt when I exclaimed to my husband, “I… I think I just finished my first draft!” I was so giddy for so long. Then I began the edit…

    I actually enjoy the editing process thus far. I’m worried that I’m going through my manuscript too quickly, because in less than two weeks I’m nearly one quarter of the way through. I am extremely organized and detail-oriented though. I have a nifty three-ringed folder that contains all my main editing highlights on the back side. It separates the “edited” vs. “unedited” sides, so I always have it near and can run through the laundry list if I’m seeing a lot of white space.

    Congratulations again on finishing your first draft! I know you’re already published, but as someone who’s only finished one first draft, I know what an effort it is.


    • Thank you! Congrats on hitting 105k! Is this your first book? Don’t worry about if you are going through it too fast. Editing is all about making what you wrote even better, so if you feel like your doing that, then keeping doing what your doing. And this won’t be your last draft, either, so don’t stress out! That’s really amazing that you went straight from writing to editing… I’m sick of my story by then. But then I just have to get back into it and keep going. And I love the way you organized your draft… I might need to try that. Good luck with your book!


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