Endings And … Well, Not Beginnings, Exactly. But Definitely Endings.

13 Mar

Today’s self-promotional activity fell into my lap, courtesy of the lovely Mary Pat Hyland and her site The Hylander Diner. She saw a post I made on Kindleboards about the inspiration for Imogen Shroud, and liked it enough to want to include it on her site. Here! So sometimes you don’t have to work so hard for good things to happen. Thanks, Mary Pat!

BJK Factoid #987: My favourite roast is … pork. Once again, that’s ‘pork’. Roast pork is sometimes called the ‘king of roasts’ and I agree; you just can’t beat it.

So today is the day I finish the first draft of Imogen Shroud. I’ve decided, today it gets done. It’s always a little conflicting when you finish writing a novel (and I use ‘finish’ here in its loosest possible form), there’s an immense feeling of satisfaction coupled with a yawing depth of hollow emptiness. If you’re like me you instantly start thinking about everything that’s wrong with the book–that I was too self-indulgent in this part, that I let the characters ramble on too much here, that the descriptions are dry and useless, that nobody would ever want to read this–

And there I stop myself. Too negative; not useful at all. And so I walk away. I come back! Moss still dying! Look! I still walk away! Letting a finished first draft sit is, I believe, as necessary as letting a pork roast rest before carving. You could wade straight in and start cutting, but you’re just going to end up with something that’s less than it could be and pig juice all everywhere.

Probably I’ll take a short break before moving on to whatever I decide to do next. I’ll look at my current projects and things-to-do, I’ll read some more about Keladry (she’s just been made a squire! She’s been picked by a knight!), I’ll play some Torchlight, pleasantly repetitive and mindless and rewarding little game that it is, I’ll laugh at the antics of my two clownish daughters, I’ll read some old writing and I’ll add a sentence here, change a word there, nothing heavy, just … playing.

Only for a day, though. That’s as long as I can allow myself to even slow down, not just because I have so much to do, but because ‘momentum’ is so very important. After a day of rest, I’ll pick what I’m going to do next and I’ll start doing it. Probably Charlotte Powers : Power Play; finish the outline and write the first draft, or look at the Resonance sequel Against Darker Days, or maybe start on the final proofing pass for Miya Black III.

And then in a week or so I’ll open up Imogen Shroud again and start reading through–not exactly proofing, not exactly editing, just reading it as I’d read any book, correcting mistakes as I’d correct them in any book. I’ll read for story, and characters, and ‘moments’, just like I read other books for these things.

THEN starts the proofing and editing.

For now, though, before ANY of that, I have to actually finish the thing; sit down and plough through those last 10,000-odd words to get to the end, to experience that satisfaction and loneliness that comes from ending something that you’ve been so intensely involved with for so long.

Of course, it’s not the end. Nothing ever ends. But for a short time, that’s what it feels like.

In any case, it’s Racial Unity Day! And that means delicious food of such variety you’d feel dizzy from the choice. Also a celebration of diversity and tolerance, two things that are very near and dear to my heart. So be good to yourselves; be good to each other.

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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Of Writing


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