July 7th, 2011

A Pocket Full of Murder

Well, I'm back.

I suspect I've used that subject line before, but really, what could be more appropriate? I feel like I've been on a long journey these past couple of months, wandering through the misty wastelands of my own imagination without knowing where I'd end up, or whether it would be worth the trip when I got there. However, I am happy to say that as of yesterday I was able to turn in a complete draft of Swift to my editor -- and that yes, it is a story, and I'm pleased with it.

Erin Bow has just written an excellent post about What it's like to finish a book: or, one writer's neurosis in three stages which sums up my own feelings at the moment pretty well. Except that she and I differ in one significant aspect: she writes that "editing doesn’t produce the adrenaline to which one can become addicted in the rush of finishing a book. Certainly it doesn’t fill the same place in the heart..." Whereas for me, the revision stage sometimes does produce that kind of ecstatic rush, and it is definitely dearer to my heart than the thrash-and-flail process of first drafting. Once I know where the story's going (and that there is a story), I can stop worrying about the plot and concentrate on the details of character, dialogue, and the little touches of worldbuilding that will take the book to the next level.

But that will come in a few weeks, once my editor's had the chance to go over the manuscript and write me one of her lovely insightful letters suggesting all the ways in which it can be better. All sorts of things are bound to change in the ensuing revision process, and that'll be a challenge of its own. But for the moment I'm content. Not to mention excited about the potential not only of this particular novel, but of the book(s) to come... and that's a nice place to be.