Of course I still have to convert the last 20,000 words from freak-localised-household-fire-could-ruin-me notebooks to backed-up-in-about-4-different-places-should-survive-the-apocalypse electronic form. And then do a structural edit, because I’m pretty sure the end doesn’t connect up properly with the beginning given the 2 years between writing the two parts. And even a cursory read over my early work makes me blush, as, now that I think of it, does a cursory reading over my later work. So lots of copy editing. And the dialogue could use some work. And there are a lot of dodgy/lazy metaphors. And I’m worried the ending doesn’t have the right level of crescendo.
But apart from that, it’s excellent.
But despite all that it feels like an achievement. At GenreCon last year, crime author John Connolly talked a lot about finishing the things you start. While I was listening to him, my normal cynical self was parsing his words as self help clap trap. But despite that initial reaction, those words stuck with me and I began to realise that not finishing the novel was subtly bugging me. My reasons for leaving it to one side had been sound – there was a lot of life going on at the time that quite rightly demanded my attention and I decided that in what little time I had available to write I wanted to practice my craft on shorter length pieces, where I could get more immediate payback/feedback. But not finishing was creating friction in my subconscious, that tiny irritation that’s always there but hard to detect until its gone.
Well now its gone.
I’m excited about the challenge of editing and making the story the best it can be. There’s a lot of work ahead – more than the effort of getting this first version down, that’s for sure. But I am left feeling that a milestone has been met, and I didn’t want to let that pass by without note.
So, let it here be noted.