Finished?

This afternoon I finished the first draft of Silent Symmetry. I’m happy with it. To celebrate, I had lunch. At 2.15. Over the last couple of days I’ve been excited to find out what was going to happen. Okay, that’s not true; I knew exactly what was going to happen, but I was excited to see how it would happen. Most of it has been a lot of fun to write, and I take that as a good sign.

My main problem was not rushing it. The ending of a novel isn’t an easy thing to write, especially the first one of a trilogy. The main plot is usually over, but there are always loose ends to tie up and you don’t want to gloss over them too quickly and leave the reader unsatisfied or take too long and have the reader think, “Come on! I know it’s over and you know it’s over, so just get to the last page!!”

But of course finishing isn’t really the end. It’s only the beginning of the end. Rewriting is what separates good writing from average writing. I do a fair bit of rewriting as I go, always re-reading the previous session’s work and tweaking it before I continue. However I find that the only really effective way to rewrite is to set the work aside for a chunk of time, then come back to it fresh. It’s almost like handing it to a new reader. The number of times I’ve reread something and think, “Wow – why on earth did I say it like that? It seems so obvious that this way is better!”

So I’m going to finish the last of my short stories and get to work on formatting them for ePub. That should take a month or so. Then I can return to the mysterious events of Silent Symmetry and give it that extra bit of mysterious magic.

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