Sunday, August 15, 2010

THE END (or not, as the case may be).

Well, today was a momentous day for me - I finally typed THE END on the last page of my third novel, whose working title is "The Witch of Schönau" (though it probably won't be called that in the end). I'd aimed to have the book finished by the end of June, but I'd reckoned without the big chunks of time which would be spent reading proofs of my earlier books, organising launch stuff for The Glass Demon and doing other very nice things like Carnegie school visits. Then I aimed to have it done before we went on holiday to France in July; and then I tried to finish it whilst actually ON holiday (note to self: never try that again). Finally decided that it HAD to be finished by 15th August so that I could send it to my agent on Monday 16th, for her to cast an eye over before going away herself. I'm not cheeky enough to suggest SHE works on it whilst on holiday, so the deadline was set in tablets of stone. This week, with the deadline looming, I took to working in the house of a very kind friend who is away. Bliss - the only sounds in her house are the gentle gurgling of the fishtank downstairs echoed by the more distant gurgling of the terrapin tank upstairs. I've made about a hundred cups of strong Yorkshire tea with her kettle, eaten more chocolate bars than I would admit to (note to self: diet next week) and written for hours and hours and hours. I staggered out briefly last night to visit the village festival with my husband, who has been nobly minding the kids, the cat (who has feline rhinotracheitis) and the absent friend's dog. My eyes felt as though they were bugging out from looking at the laptop screen all day, and I probably looked like some sort of albino cave creature after not seeing the daylight all week. By Friday I was getting to the slightly panicky stage of thinking every other phrase was dreadful and deleting half of what I had written; on Saturday morning I deleted the whole of Friday's work and started again. Finally, this afternoon, with my snout pressed up against the deadline, I reached THE END.
This is not really THE END of course; there will probably be one trillion trillion revisions, especially because I don't have time to go through all 105,000 words with a toothcomb looking for inconsistencies etc before I send it off. But at least I can have a day off tomorrow. Hallelujah!!!!

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