Saturday, May 04, 2013

The Writing Rollercoaster

So I've finished another novel, the 90,000 word book I was working on for a new publisher, and have to start work on another next week, probably the third book in my Tudor Witch trilogy with Corgi. Though there is another project in the wings, waiting for a green light. If the light comes, that one will take precedence, as the Tudor Witch finale is not due until the autumn.

There's such an emotional and mental high about finishing a novel, a real burst of energy towards the end to get you over that final bump in the road. It's addictive, makes you want to start a new one immediately. Well, that's the effect it has on me. The issue is that you suddenly hit a wall a few days after the book is done, a wall of total exhaustion that forces you into a coma-like rest from writing. So it's important to wait a beat, and not let the high fool you into thinking it was easy.

Of course, finishing a book is not the same as it being ready to send. I have to fiddle with it first. My spelling is superlative, so that's never been an issue for me. However, beyond the inevitable typos, there will be continuity errors, forgotten plot threads, character screw-ups, and possibly a gaping hole at the centre of the book.

Well, the gaping hole theory is unlikely in this case, as it's a fairly straightforward love story, no aliens or quantum physics or mysterious locked room murder to account for. But the rest? Definitely possible.

So over the next week I will be administering mouth-to-mouth to my finished manuscript so that when it appears, as if by magic, on the editor's computer screen next week, it will be as clean and watertight as I can get it.

Then she will smile, point out all the issues I missed, and make me fix them.

By then, of course, I shall be up to my waist in my next novel. And hopefully loving it as much as I loved this one, which almost seemed to write itself. Let's hope it knew what it was doing.


Sheila Riley said...

So true Jane, I've just finished mine and even though I went through it with a fine-tooth comb I still have the feeling it's not quite right - a bit like going on holiday and wondering if I've left the gas on.

Jane Holland said...

Oh, there is ALWAYS something you miss. It's a nod to the gods. Absolutely inevitable. The vital thing for me is to ignore the awareness that something will be amiss somewhere in all those words, whistle a happy tune, and just send it off. A good editor and/or sub-editor will pick up any slack.

That's not me advocating laziness and a lack of manuscript preparation, of course. I just don't think it's a good idea for us to worry unnecessarily and hold onto a ms too long in case we missed some tiny detail. Onward and upward, yes? I'm sure you're the same.