Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Afraid of finishing??

Don't laugh.

I am afraid of finishing my book. I realized today that I am at the last of two main  scenes and then it's done.


I've heard of being afraid of failure, but not being afraid of finishing. And I see myself procrastinating, what's worse (and only slightly funny).

Because now, you see; now when I see the end I can't imagine my little baby actually being finished. Then it's copyedited. Then read. Then, well, it's out in the world, because no child of mine will stay at home and slouch about. And then it

stands or falls on its own.

It's not even that I have no more ideas. Au contraire. They have been duking it out in my subconscious, and I know the next one already. I've even done *a little* reading up in preparation, and made *one tiny* list. So I am ready to go, basically, on it.

I just don't want to let this one go.


Heidi the Hick said...

Oh I'm not laughing - I know the feeling! For me, it's partly that I'm so attached to the characters and so invested in the story that it's hard to leave it.

ALSO... and this is harder to talk about... what's next. Now the real work begins: the querying, the rejecting, the starting all over. Any transition like that is hard. It's like you're sending your creation out into the unknown.

I don't know if this will make it better or worse for you, but in my experience, it's never over when you think it's over. I started querying TROUBLE at about the 6th edit. Now I'm done the 10th. At least. Maybe more edits if you count little tweaks.

I've also heard from published authors that you don't really have to leave it behind completely, because in promoting it you're still talking about it.

That's our goal! You're doing great- keep it up!

JKB said...

Well good. I'm glad someone else feels this way. I love these guys so much it will be hard to let go.

How many did you query before your edits? And did you have lots of different query letters?

Heidi the Hick said...

I think I'm on the 15th or so rewrite of the query letter!

And yes, I started the query process last August. I was only on edit #7 back then! I really thought it was done. I really did. Now I'm just moving one word here and there so I truly believe it's as good as I can possibly make it.

Heidi said...

I feel this way, too. I wonder sometimes how hard it must have been for J.K. Rowling to let go of Harry Potter after investing in him for so many years. When I finished I was in a bit of a state of shock for a while. My friend called it "post-pardon depression" which is exactly what it felt like.

We invest in these people so much, and suddenly it's over.

And then, like Heidi said, it's not.

I spent about a month on querying. The first three I sent out in one day, and got responses for partials on all three within two days. All three passed, but very nicely. I sent out some more over the course of the next month all the while trying to make the beginning stronger and more appealing (basically to fix what the first agents found lacking), but I got very few responses on those queries.

I finally got tired of spinning my wheels trying to rewrite the same thing over and over, so I put it away with the idea that after a few months I will come back to it and maybe re-edit and query again.

Meanwhile, I started on my new book, which I was a little lag in getting into, but now I am so excited about it, and it seems so much stronger than my first book, and I love love love the characters, just as much as the ones in the first book. Who knew? The depression is gone. And I didn't really say goodbye to the characters in my first book... they just are on vacation a little while.

I'm so excited for you that you are so close to the end. And if you really like them, try to sneak one or two into your next book. (I had a journalist in my first book as one of the main characters; I've considered having him make an appearance during the legal battle in this new book, even though they are not at all related.)

Good luck!