Monday, September 14, 2015

The Home Stretch

It's getting close... that time when the first draft of a new book is almost finished. The end is in sight, I know how the story is going to wrap up (I think!), and the germ of an idea is in place for the next book.

This is about the time the relief and exhilaration kick in, along with niggling doubts and a tiny whisper of panic.

Obviously, a writer feels a sense of accomplishment and excitement at having done it again--created a story and written it from start to finish--especially since, many times, I have started a project with that whisper (or is it a roar?) of panic: "Can I do it again? What am I going to write about? What if I can't make it work? What if it's boring?"

Strangely enough, those same whispers of panic come back at the end of the first draft, when I read it through for the first time. I cringe at obvious mistakes in continuity, mixed-up names or places, bloated exposition or dialogue, and tired descriptions I'm sure I've used in the three previous books. For a brief moment, the panic blooms into worry if I can fix what I've already written.

It helps to remember that I've lived through this three times already. And every time, I managed to get my focus right and I was able to edit my books well (with the help of my amazing beta-readers and editors!), send them in, get them published, and, most incredible of all, sell them! I tell myself that if I've done it before, I can do it again... and I'll be telling myself that every time I set out to write another book!

So now, as I take a deep breath to plunge toward the finish line, I keep in mind that the work is still, in some ways, just beginning: the edits, the cover art, the title, the promotion. But despite all the seemingly never-ending work and stress and confusion, there is the over-riding feeling of joy and excitement in doing what I love to do.

Now, back to work....

Next week, I'll be turning the Back Deck Blog over to fellow Oak Tree Press author, Marilyn Meredith, author of the Rocky Bluff PD series and the Tempe Crabtree series. She'll be promoting her latest Tempe book, "Not as it Seems". Follow her book tour and see how she crafts her mysteries!

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