I have finished the first draft of my book, A Season, and A Time, so am somewhere between shattered and elated. When I feel I am in the home stretch I tend to pull out all the stops so I have been writing over 3000 words a day for the last ten days or so. Which leaves me feeling a little drained. I have no idea why I put so much pressure on myself but I can't help it - the story just builds up the momentum and like a snowball carries me along with it.
When I started this book, in March, I had no idea of the turns it would take. I started as usual with a basic story line and the characters (I spend ages pondering about my characters - I can't write in their voice till I feel I know them intimately), as well as the ending, which in this case was a true story from my own experience, and the title. Not for me something called a working title. If I don't have a title I can't tell a story. Yes, I know I'm a bit strange - I wouldn't be a writer if I weren't!
Then after I start I just let it happen, and often my characters surprise me - they often impress me too. Not really surprising as all my books seem to feature a strong woman as the main character, or at least one of the main characters.
Of course now the hard work starts - I need to read the whole story, out loud, pretty much at a sitting, for consistency and continuity and at the same time proof read, for those inevitable typos that slip in. If someone could come up with a spellcheck which can differentiate between from and form they would make a fortune! I have found that for me the best way of proof reading is to make the font large, so that any typos literally jump out.
The joys of self publishing - in traditional publishing there would be editors doing this work - although I have found mistakes recently in work published by some of the top publishing houses in the world, so even that wouldn't be fool proof.
Till next time :)