If you’ve been following this blog, do you ever wonder when the heck I’m going to finish my novel?
Most people are too polite to ask me. But I nevertheless have the same question every day, with every chapter and scene I write. When? WHEN? I hear about other writers having book launch parties (or other marketing occasions disguised as celebrations), and I wonder if I’ll ever get there. And that kind of questioning can be paralyzing enough to give up on this thing I’ve been working on so very hard. I’m grateful that I have not given in to that kind of discouragement.
The truth is this: I have no idea. I spend a great deal of time working on At World’s Edge. Although I usually work on several projects concurrently, I spend the bulk of my writing time on the novel. I work on it every day. I think about it constantly. The time I’ve taken to finish certainly isn’t due to a lack of inspiration.
Many people who don’t write think that when you sit down to write a novel, it flows out of you and onto the page in a fairly linear manner, and once you reach the end, you’re done! But in reality, there is much more to it than that: there’s the necessity of plotting, of creating a viable premise, of revision, of editing, and of persuading several people to be beta readers — and then revising based on that beta reading — and so on. I’m lucky that I have a lot of time to devote to these endeavors.
I have a significant portion of the novel written in first draft form for the second time. I nearly completed a prior first draft before realizing the story belonged to a different character (other than my original main character), and so I’ve essentially almost written this book twice from scratch. I’m lucky to have a great group of fellow writers who critique each chapter. If not for them, the process would be much more difficult.
No writer likes to be pinned down to a launch date, because so many things can derail the process. But I hope to finish the bulk of the writing and be through the editing stage (if not the revision stage) by the end of 2015. I hope you’ll stick with me by then so that you can read what all this hype is about!