Foster's fiction: Week 5 of National Novel Writing Month

Pile of books Ann-Marie has just 30 days to complete her literary masterpiece

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As I write this, I'm already a winner.

Two whole days to go until the end of November and I'm sitting on 66,333 words.

It's surprised me. The idea was to write 50,000 during the month and I'm chapters and chapters beyond the finishing line.

The thing's not even finished yet either.

In a way it's become a bit of a monster.

Shapeless in parts, untidy, with strange lumps and bumps; there are scars too, from our frequent battles with each other.

I'm back in love with my characters though, you'll be glad to hear, so there'll be no apocalyptic disaster to kill them all off, leaving my heroine standing alone in the light.

My relationship with them is more trusting, more open - and I'm optimistic that we may actually reach a mutually-agreeable conclusion.

Actually that's a lie.

There are still some dark corners to turn - but what they don't know might not hurt them. I haven't completely decided.

I do know I'll be putting off writing the Christmas cards for another week or so, but eventually I will have to finish it.

It might be over a cup of tea on a sullen December morning. We'll sit in silence for a while before I save the file and close the laptop. In a month or so, I'll undo the folder's virtual red ribbons and tenderly rewrite.

Or it could be an emotional farewell in the early hours over a bottle of wine. We'll fight and say things we shouldn't and never see each other again.

Either way, it was worth it.

And I hope that any of you who have been taking the journey with me feel that way too.

Whether you've written 5,000 or 105,000 words, I hope you've rediscovered, like me, the joy of creative writing, of allowing your imagination to run free again.

I hope you realise what you've achieved.

You sat down and from nowhere, created characters that had never existed before.

You coloured their hair, their eyes, their outlook on life. You allowed them to live through the nib of your pen or the keys of your computer. You gave up your time, your energy and some of your sanity for their sake.

For that you should be intensely proud.

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