3 May 2006
So. I don't expect to have this book finished by the time Mark gets home from California Friday night. And do you know why I'm saying this publicly? Because if I decided to ruin my back and neglect the entire rest of my life, I could probably manage to finish this book by the time Mark gets home from California Friday night. That is how close I am to done. I smell it. It is turning a light golden around the edges, and probably the middle isn't wobbly any more.
At least I hope not. We'll deal with that in revisions, if it is. That's one of the lovely things about the late stages of a rough draft of a book: you can be so hopeful, because revisions lie ahead, and revisions make everything beautiful. Don't they? Of course they do.
Revisions, revisions. The thing that separates writers from Olympic gymnasts. Fall on your head on your way over the vault? No problem! Revise it! You're even allowed to bring in friends and colleagues with a crane to hoist your butt up and over, as long as you airbrush the crane out and stick the landing afterwards. Big smile for the judges! Your prose comes out perfect every time -- at least after revisions!
Giddiness is a hallmark of late stages of rough drafts, I find. The longer the work, the giddier I am when I finish. Short-short: meh, mildly satisfied. Novelette: go, Team Me! Novel in series with other novels: wooohooo! I'm invincible! I'm quoting bits of Monty Python again, so you know I feel like a teenager! A teenaged loony, no less!
When this is done, I will take an extra day or two off, and then I will probably read it over with red pen in hand, on the theory that it feels like a clean draft from here, and it'll be good to at least know if it isn't. And if it is, I can send it off to my dear first-readers and feel all virtuous and happy. (It has been too long since I finished a book.) And if it isn't...well. We will deal with that if it comes up.
And then I will write a short story or two -- probably "Flight of the Paleontologist" and "Why I Live in the Silver Mine" -- and then, then...then I will get back to the revisions of Sampo.
Well, let's not talk about that now, shall we? Because end-of-draft giddiness is a great deal more fun than middle-of-revisions doldrums, and because this time we do have a choice.
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