In the last twelve months, I have written a few times about the new novel I have been working on. Last March, I wrote about the new experience for me of writing fiction for Young Adults. In the August, in my Summer Update, I mention that my Young Adult novel is taking shape but still feels to be slow-going at Chapter 5. Then at the beginning of January this year, I wrote about getting to Chapter 21 and realising I was stuck, and having to retrace my steps in order to find the right route to where I actually wanted to be. After this detour, progress had been delayed but was back on track.
Well, I am very happy to now report that progress was restored, the fix did work, and as of yesterday, the first draft of that novel is completed! Sound the fanfares, I have now written SIX NOVELS!
Finishing a novel creates a strange mixture of emotions. There is certainly triumph, in the achievement of such an amazing thing. Whether it is good or rubbish, I have created a whole novel, many thousands of words, brand new places and characters, all made up by me and put together into one readable form. It is pretty special being able to do that. There is a certain amount of relief, that I am still able to do this, and that all the time and effort I put into it has finally come to something. There is pride that the story worked, and excitement that it is now in a form that one day can be read by others – I can’t wait to share it with the world. Which of course brings apprehension – what if the world doesn’t like my story, or doesn’t love the characters that I love so much. Then there is an undeniable sense of loss. It’s like reading a wonderful novel for the first time – you want to finish it, to see how it ends, and at the same time, you don’t want it to end because then it’s over. I have been working on this story for such a long time, and I know the characters so well, but now their story is ended. That feels like a strange thing to celebrate. And as for celebrating – I wanted to shout and scream “I FINISHED MY NOVEL” – but I didn’t. It feels too much like boasting. I shared it with my husband and kids, but I didn’t say anything about it at work today, even though I have been asked a few times if I did anything nice over Half Term. Well, yes actually, I finished writing a novel. Nah, I can’t do that.
Well, I suppose I am writing this blog. It’s the closest I can come to blowing my own trumpet.
Anyway, it is just a first draft. I’m far from done with my story and characters, and I already know that quite a lot of it will be rewritten before anyone gets to read it. Part of me would like to start doing that right now, but it needs some time to rest. I need some time away from it, some space to find a new perspective. As much as I love editing, it will be more effective after a break from it. Maybe that’s why I feel so sorrowful – like the ultimate book hangover, it will be hard to drag myself away from it. Luckily, I have a new project to go straight into.
While Novel Six is hibernating, it is time to reawaken Novel Five. This is the novel I wrote in Lockdown 2020. It has been resting since then, hardly attracting my attention at all while I was busy trekking through the submission process, and then writing Novel Six. But now is the perfect time to begin the process of editing and transforming it from work ‘in progress’ to ‘final draft’. My aim is to get it KDP ready and published on Amazon before the end of this year. That really will be something to celebrate.
Watch this space. The Hawthorn Bride, coming in 2023.