I’ve spent two days numb. It’s like that sometimes. You finish the book, the brain shuts down, you haven’t a word left in you for any purpose. I managed to wring out three final words a couple minutes after I typed the last word of Hawkspar, in order to post here that I’d finished, but that was it. The well went baked-bone dry, and I slogged off not so much to celebrate as to recover.
I’m starting to shake it off. I woke up this morning realizing I’d left a few threads untied. First time I’d been able to think about the book since I typed the last words. I went into the office, I looked at the manuscript — the brain said, “Uh-uh. Not today.” So I wrote down my little list: seven loose threads, some that can be fixed with a line or two, one that will require its own new scene, right at the end, because the knife must be twisted all the way round if you have the room to do it. I do. I’ll go in tomorrow, crack of dawn, and I’ll face the list. It’s okay — it isn’t overwhelming, but each item is important, and I want to do the thing right. I want the first time my editor reads it to be as good as I can possibly make it.
I’ve read your congrats, and I deeply appreciate every one of them. I think the more I learn about writing, the more I know I don’t know, and the harder it is to wrap a project confident that I did it right. However, I’m figuring by tomorrow I’ll be functional again, I’ll do my seven little tasks on Hawkspar, and then I’ll move on to Claire’s book, and get back into that. It’ll be easier only having the one novel to work on.