The Finishing Line

I told the Alien Onions that I'd have finished a draft of my new book by the end of the year. That was last year. Obviously I haven't quite made it. Maybe it'll be done by the end of this year.

Nah, only kidding. It's nearly there. This won't be the final draft, but it's the first one that I'm prepared to show to people without feeling embarrassed by the holes. With luck, it won't need major surgery, only some shuffling and tinkering and embroidery.

Finishing a book is a weirdly unsatisfying process. Usually, once I get to this stage, and send off the Reasonably Okay Draft for editing, I'm already thinking about my next project. By the time the ROD comes back to be fixed, I might have started writing the New Thing, and inevitably, the New Thing seems much more exciting than the old one. By the copy-edit stage, I actually resent the manuscript coming back, because I want to concentrate on the New Thing, which is by now simply the Thing I'm Working On. And by the time the Old Thing arrives as an actual Book, I'm so deeply into the next thing, or even the thing after that, that I almost don't care about it any more.

Having said that, turning the Reasonably Okay Draft into a Good Solid Manuscript is my favourite part of the process. The plot holes are plugged, the structure is sound, and all I have to worry about is the words. For me, getting the story right is the hard part; playing around with language is secondary. Soon, I'd like to do some writing that isn't focused on story, to reconnect with the joy of words. Hopefully, my next project will allow me to do that.

See, I'm thinking about it already.