One Story Closes...

Towards the end of a ninety-thousand word writing journey, all I can think of is reaching The End. By this stage, I’m pretty tense wondering if all the story threads will knit together; I used to think I was a ‘plotter’, but three books down the line, I realise I work with the spark of an idea and by allowing space for my characters to grow. This means that I’m constantly going back, revising my work in the light of what I’ve found out, but even so the final chapters still feel like hurtling down a helter-skelter hoping I don’t crash-land!

The next test for me is handing the manuscript over to Tom. He may be my other half, but it doesn’t make it any less excruciating knowing he’s reading my work as there’s no hiding his reaction. Fortunately the man with the red correcting pen says, ‘yes’. I also take it to be a good sign that he’s sat and read the story straight through, barely moving from his chair. Then it’s a matter of making the last-minute corrections, giving it a bit of polish and sending it on its way.

Oh, the relief and… a sense of loss. When I first step away from the imaginary world I’ve been living in, I do genuinely miss my characters, especially the heroine and hero, and I’ve enjoyed catching up with some of the names and faces from Turning the Tide in this one, too. But I’m certainly tired and adding to the excitement this time, I’ve had my brush with skin cancer and Ma’s death-defying greenhouse dive.

And six days on? Well, I’ve done some chores, caught up with some reading, but the spark of an idea for my next book is glowing increasingly bright. As one book closes, the next is waiting to be opened… On the Choc Lit blog tomorrow, I’ll be talking about starting a new book and, in particular, about images and inspiration.

And finally, the total immersion that finishing a novel demands means I’ve had little time for blogging but with some breathing space at last, I look forwards to putting that right and visiting the many blogs I’ve missed.

The photo is of a 'secret' garden, we've discovered on a new walk...

Comments

Jane Lovering said…
Congratulations! It's a a bit like having a baby, isn't it, finishing a novel? You cast it out into the world and look forward to its progress, but there's a tiny part of you that feels a bit...lonely inside, now it's gone.

Enjoy a bit of a break, and the best of luck to your new offspring!
Mandy K James said…
I know exactly how you feel about leaving your characters behind. And that's why I am writing a sequel! I know your new baby will fly to the highest heights. I loved your other two and can't wait to sample more delights of Little Spitmarsh!xx
Frances said…
Chris, congratulations to you on your achievement. Interesting that you complete this new novel just as a new season begins. Isn't there something naturally good about that?

I would so love to be able to see more of that secret garden. The entranceway is very enticing.

Hoping your Ma is mending well.

Best wishes to you and Tom. xo
Shirley Davis said…
I am a so far (lagging through procrastination) unpublished novelist BUT I entirely empathise, Chris. I too plot then enjoy going with my characters. I try and annotate my plans but ...

Well done for getting to The End again. I'm sure a little time with 'real life' will top you up for more authorly output soon.
Liz Harris said…
Many congratulations, Chris. It's a fabulous moment, isn't it, bringing the novel to a conclusion - enjoy. Until the characters in your new novel start to inhabit your head, that is!
Kath said…
Love that picture - and it's so apt as you edge forwards into a new book world. Have fun making all your discoveries and getting to know the characters who people it.

I'm excited that you've done a sequel to Turning the Tide - I loved that book! - can't wait to see where you've taken the follow-up.
Flowerpot said…
Very brave giving it to Tom! I found Pip was hopeless at giving comments bless him, whereas Mr B tends to go in the other direction!! Well done for fiishing this one Chris and enjoy some catch up time. The secret garden door looks wonderful...
Posie said…
Fantastic news Chris what a huge achievement and a cycle is evolving. A major achievement to publish one book, but you are now becoming an established author. Enjoy xx
Flowerpot said…
Award for you over at myplace Chris!
Fennie said…
Well done, Chris, and may you have just as much success with it as the others.
Chris Stovell said…
Sorry to be so late in my replies..

Thanks, Jane and Mandy - you know how it feels!

Frances, I think you would enjoy all of this walk, it's fascinating. And thank you.

Shirley - welcome and thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Sorry I've taken so long to reply.

Aw, thank you, Liz.

Kath - I really enjoyed my return to Little Spitmarsh, so thank you for your kind words.

FP, I'm enjoying finding out about Mr B - good luck and all best wishes to you.

Posie, I feel like a complete beginner every time, but thank you!

Fennie, thank you!

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