Staring over the precipice

So, I’m close to the end now.  I’ve almost finished the first draft of my first novel.  I put the first words on the page in May of last year and, after sitting on it for a while, I started in earnest last Winter.  Now here I am with the nights drawing in, facing the realisation that I will actually have done it.  I’ll have done what I kidded myself for so long that I didn’t have time to do.  I’m around 6,000-10,000 words away from the end, and I’m scared.

Never in the process have I had writer’s block, never have I become too picky about it.  I never felt the need to overthink and constantly edit, wanting simply to spill the story out of me and then worry about sorting it out later.  All the while I’ve been convinced that it’s a decent story that deserves to be told.  So why am I scared?  Why have I slowed down so dramatically in the last few weeks?  Why am I doubting the quality of what I’ve written? Why did I feel the sudden urge to read through the entire thing to make sure it makes sense?

In truth, some of this is down to the fact that I wanted to make sure the ending was going to do justice to the story.  I wanted to be sure that I was pulling everything together perfectly.  This book is the beginning of a series but I wanted to be sure that it would stand alone.

Really though, if I’m honest with myself, the reason I’m scared is that it’s almost done.  When it’s done, I have to hand it over to someone to read.  Other people have read it, true, but not someone completely unbiased.   I go from the private world of me and my characters to a wholly different arena where it’s open to others.  That’s why I’m stalling.  That’s why I’m writing things like this instead of ending the book.

The good thing is that I know I’m going to finish it soon.  I’ve thought over the ending and I’ve rewritten a few bits.  I’m on the home straight now and I’ll be done before Bonfire Night.  Whatever happens then, I will have done what I thought I would never have the stamina to do.  I will have dreamed up a bunch of people and put them through all sorts of emotional and physical batterings for my own, and hopefully others’, amusement.

Thanks for reading. #donebybonfirenight

Richard

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