• Karissa Chmil

A Writer's Letter to a Recently Finished Project

There is nothing like the moment when you write your last sentence.


As all writers will tell you, the feeling of reaching the end of a novel you've been writing and dreaming about and brainstorming and working on day after day after day is about as close to magical as you can get.


I recently finished a fantasy novel entitled Flame's Dust - and here's my letter to that novel.


 

Dear Flame's Dust,


Wow.


Just wow.


Where do I begin?


It was summer when I started brainstorming. You remember that, right? I'm sure you do. And it was hard - so hard. So many times when the pieces just would not fit together. . . and far too many times where I was tempted to give up.


But I didn't. Somehow, every time, there was something to remind me of why I was writing this. A quote or a song or an idea that rekindled the flame and whispered: You can do this.


And then it was October first. The day to sit down and let the words flow.


They didn't come as easily as I wished. But they came - they did. The first chapter. . .then the second. . . then the third. My word count was ticking up, day after day. One thousand words. Two thousand. Three thousand.


And then things stopped.


So many things threw writing off track. So many unexpected struggles and sapping energy and no time to write.


At one point, I even took an entire month off to focus on another project. Things never really got back to a consistent schedule after that, did they?


But so many reminders. So many things that made me remember why I had chosen to go on this journey with you. And so I kept writing, even when it was so dull. So hard. So different from everything I wanted to do.


And then it happened. January 31st was my deadline for myself, and I almost thought I didn't make it.


But there I was. 9:45 on the last day of January, sitting cross-legged, fingers flying over the keyboard.


Wrapping up the loose ends.


Seeing my characters in their final scenes.


Wondering, wondering, wondering if I'd be able to pull the end off.


And then typing the very last sentence.


It's been a whirlwind, Flame's Dust. It's been crazy, and not always in a good way.


But it's also been beautiful. It's taught me so much. Helped me become so much more disciplined. Shown me the reward of sticking with a project long after the appeal was gone.


And so, if there was one thing I'd say to you, you novel drenched in shadows and woven in starlight. . .


It would be thank you.


Thank you for the amazing journey you brought me on.


Thank you for everything I learned about writing.


Thank you for reminding me, along with Evren and Adrias and all my other characters, that the stars will come out.


Thank you.


- Karissa

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