On Finishing My New Novel

The new novel took 8 years. Not full-time, mind you. But eight years from the time I wrote the first words until this past wednesday night at 11:04 pm. I note the time. That’s a long time to have something sitting in your head waiting to find its way out. This book could not have been finished before now as the things that have happened in my life inform the events of the book, but (and before anyone thinks the book is about me) none of the action in the book ever happened to me. All fiction. Pure and simple. Well, not so simple.

I was asked recently if I outlined. The simple answer is: absolutely not. Outlines, I believe (personal choice here) stems the flow of discovery, which is crucial to writing a novel. I do take notes and write them at the end of the file as I go along and then delete them as they are addressed. It’s the sensible thing to do. Notes are jotted down as quickly as they come to my noggin.

I’m expecting post-partum depression to set in shortly, but I’m currently in editing mode so I’m putting it off. I don’t encourage anyone to take 8 years to write a book. It’s a lot of headspace that can be useful for other things like having a life.

So, novel. I hope you go out into the world. Now I just need to find a literary agent.


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