It’s always a little heartbreaking to finish writing a novel.
For years I feel as if I’m in the middle of something. I can open my laptop, find my place in my draft and instantly be somewhere else. The unfolding is exquisite. I’m a voyeur, on a ride I don’t want to stop. That I don’t write chronologically–meaning that the first scene I write might be one of the last, the last scene one of the first–just adds to the delight. No matter how much I think I know what’s going to happen, my characters still manage to surprise me.
Most of the time I can’t think of anywhere I’d rather be.
The end always comes fast for me. I’ll think I still have a good month or two of writing, and a week later I’m done. I’ll send out copies to my beta readers, then listen to what they have to say and assume I’ll need a few weeks to incorporate their suggestions. Days later I’m drawing out the editing process just so I can spend a little more time before I have to say goodbye.
I feel unmoored when I’ve finished writing a novel, emotional and off-balance. Joel and James and Adam: they center me like nothing else. When their story ends, I flounder. I need to know how I’m going to get my next breath.
I’m waiting for my last beta reader to give me her feedback. She’s been with me since I wrote The Crossing, and her honesty borders on brutal. She’ll likely have suggestions; fingers crossed. That will give me a chance to play just a little bit more.
Then the time will come to share this story.
I’m going to ensure that as many people as possible can read what happens next. So stay tuned. You’re closer than you think.
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