Almost finished writing a book
While I have almost finished writing a book, and can begin to see glimmers of light at the end of this particular line – I wouldn’t call it a tunnel, as any writing that isn’t fun will probably be edited out – I focus on reducing my word count.
For lots of reasons, I find that, once I have what resembles a plot, with all the bones in the right places, I want to double check that it all fits, and so culling anything that looks suspicious, unfinished, half-baked or awkward helps to refine the lines and make the reading clearer. This process also helps us to locate loose ends that need answering, (‘There was a coiled spring inside him ready to burst one day. Not yet, but soon… ‘) So what happened there, then?
We have a beginning, a middle and an end, and as we read long sections over again for the umpteenth time, hopefully, we almost won’t recognise that we wrote this. We might say, Hmmmm this is good, or laugh, because we are reading now as a reader would, and reading our words differently.
So, are we finished? Not quite. This last bit of writing is, for me, the best. At the stage when all the plot lines are worked through and on the page, when we have written THE END and more or less know what the characters intend, then I feel freer from the challenging of actually finishing the book, and can go back.
Recalling the original enthusiasm which sparked the project in the first place, and which may have got buried in the business of keeping going, I go back and add a bit more spice, humour, a few more light-hearted or dramatic human touches.
Of course, we want the whole process to be fun, but inevitably some of the gloss gets wiped off in the business of grammar checking, close reading and fixing chronology.
So adding that finishing gloss adds a kind of fiesta attractiveness to the last lap of what will have been a long, intense journey. Enjoying the polishing and teasing of the final manuscript puts into concrete form a thought process which says, Now that I’ve finished building the main project, let’s go back, relax and have a party….