Friday, 15 January 2010

... and relax

It's hard for any novelist to convey the full magnitude of relief and satisfaction when that work-in-progress reaches the final full stop.

It can be a long courtship - you and your novel starting out as strangers, uncertain if that spark of possibility will grow into something more meaningful. Then getting to know them over time, learning about their foibles, going through the 'hot and heavy' stage where you can't get enough of one another. Up all hours together, and when forced apart by circumstance, they're all you can think about. Worrying about the future and yet relishing that delicious sense of uncertainty and adventure.

It can't last of course; that blood rush of passion yields gradually and progressively to a more stable sense form of commitment. It's not all plain sailing though, not by any means. Many a novel is scuppered on the coastline of indifference and misunderstanding. Or else the author is seduced by some other literary turn-on. Or the need to get a job.

But in my case, the first draft of Line of Sight sits before me, in a closed file. It will remain closed for a month then I can return to it with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective. For now, I've completed the voyage of discovery and I know how the plot lines, major scenes and character arcs fit together, I can concentrate on honing it all into something more readable and more commercially viable. Make no mistake, I never write for an audience of one.

So, with Line of Sight ready for the next phase and a month's shore leave ahead of me, I can go back to the other dozen writing projects, all eagerly jumping up and down in front of me like puppies at a rescue centre. Easy guys, one at a time. I'm not made of ink.


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