It's taken me 2-1/2 years, but I've finished the first draft of my novel. What a journey this has been! My first concepts for the book included fantasy elements along with historical fiction, but I quickly realized that I'm not skilled enough to create something that complex. So I teased the historical fiction story line away and focused on that.
Now that I've written the ending, I've identified at least one scene that has to be inserted near the beginning. It will probably be the opening scene so that the beginning and the ending coordinate, like slices of bread on a sandwich.
The last third of the novel now goes off to my ICL instructor, Nancy Butts, and the last 20 pages will go through critique with my Writer's Group. While I'm waiting for feedback from them, I'll start editing the first 125 pages or so.
Onto the next part of the journey: editing, fixing, tweaking, and making it all make sense. Wish me luck!