Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Winston Churchill sums this up beautifully, I couldn’t say it any better. Three days ago I typed the magical phrase THE END on my current manuscript. It’s a big statement – and one that marks only the end of the first phase. I shall leave it completely for a few weeks, then come back to it ‘cold’ and start the reviewing and editing process. I’ve had one lot of feedback, I’ll put it out there with my tame reviewers and Crit Partners (thanks gals) for another reading post-edit… and then edit again. Then, and only then… I’ll start the querying phase. Can you tell I have a background in project management? It comes in useful from time to time.
But in the meantime… God how I miss my manuscript. I’ve spent the best part of the last four months bringing life to the characters, telling their story through their adventures, tragedy, love and ultimate happiness – and now they’ve gone quiet. It’s like when your best friend goes away on holiday and can’t be contacted for a month. I feel bereft.
The great temptation is to leap into the next story, already a vague glimmering idea in my head, but I shall resist. I owe it to my lovely manuscript to give it the best possible chance in the shark-infested-world of publishing – and I can’t do that if I have another story running in the background. It would be like trying to concentrate on a complicated movie while just reading one more chapter of that thriller – and not losing either plot.
So for the next two weeks I shall be delving into my teetering stack of unread books and catching up on all the things I promised myself I’d do when this manuscript was complete. Only, it isn’t really complete yet, is it? Not until it’s out there for real 🙂