A special kind of feeling occurs when I can see the end of a novel draft in sight. It’ a very physical thing- my fingertips tingle as if I have mild pins and needles, I type faster, my heart rate speeds a fraction (possibly due to increased coffee consumption)- oh, and I can’t stop smiling.
I want to reach the end, the goal post of the concluding sentence- and yet, at the same time I don’t want to get there. Being lost in the world that I’ve been creating- the lives of my fictitious friends- is a comfortable place to be. The moment I place that final full stop in place I have to step back- remove myself a little from the world I’ve invented. And that is precisely where I am with the fourth in my Another Cup of… series- for today I have placed the last word of Another Glass of Champagne on the computer screen!
This distancing myself from my own creation is vital for the next stage of the novel. For the completion of the final sentence is far from the end of a the writing story. Now comes the redraft- the polishing- the editing- the objective overview of my work. It’s time to make sure that every word is perfect for the job it has to do, that all the story threads have been tied up, that the time scale between events is physically possible, and then to track down and remove as many typos as humanly possible!
So while the conclusion brings me a feeling of immense satisfaction – it also heralds in the next stage. A process I enjoy a great deal- Another Glass of Champagne is about to be edited to within an inch of its life…