Thirteen Years of Invisible Dragons
"Patrick has seen a dragon."
It was 2008. Before I discovered Twitter. Before I'd met even a single one of my current online friends. In that year, for National Novel Writing Month, I decided to try the true "pantser" method of not planning a single thing and, at midnight, as the clock ticked over into the first of November, I wrote those five words.
I didn't beat NaNoWriMo, of course. I never have. But then, in 2010, I rediscovered my few thousand abandoned words of story and decided "this NaNoWriMo, I'm going to finish this book".
I didn't finish it.
The years rolled past. I kept trying to finish it. I renamed characters. I tore it into pieces and sifted through them to find something like a plot, and stitched it back together. I realized I'd kept the pieces of the wrong plot and did it again. I realized my narrator wasn't my protagonist and did it again. I wrote, and rewrote, and rewrote an outline to keep the scenes I had organized, to figure out which scenes I needed to fill in.
Sometimes I would give up for weeks or months at a time, only to inevitably come back and try One. More. Time.
Well, GUESS WHAT.
I MADE IT.
The book isn't done yet - it needs revision and edits, some for tone, mostly for continuity - but the story. THE STORY IS DONE. All the pieces of the story are there, in the project, sorted into the right order, with plentiful notes of what needs to be fixed or changed. It's done. No more re-plotting. No more characters to come up with or cut. It's DONE! Now I can finally get into the fun part!!