Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The last word

A manuscript (which Blogger refuses to insert the rightway round)
I have just finished a book. I don't mean the one I'm reading, that's not a huge step forward for writerkind. I mean the one I'm writing.

In a way there's a sense of anti-climax. It's not like I just wrote the last word, typed THE END and sent it off. I finished writing it over a month ago, and since then have been editing and editing to make sure it reads well. What I've just done is my last pass through it... but even so, there's a sense of satisfaction.

Satisfaction tinged with dread. Because now I'm waiting for my editor's verdict. It has always been positive. Every book needs a few tweaks, but usually the feedback is good. Even so, like many authors, I suspect every time I send in a manuscript that I am going to be found out, and it will come back with a big red REJECTED stamp on the cover. (At least, on the virtual cover. These days submitting a manuscript is just a matter of attaching a document to an email and sending it off.)

The experience is also one of satisfaction tinged with a sense of waiting. It will be a while before the editor responds. A while more before I get paid the advance on acceptance. And perhaps a year before the actual book is in my hands. It's a step on the road, not the final destination.

But despite all this, there is that sense of satisfaction. For an hour or two.

Then it's thinking about the next project. And the book that's due out in October (Armageddon Science: The Science of Mass Destruction - more on that later). You didn't think I was just going to stop, did you?

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