Well...it's done. It feels sort of surreal, to be honest. After two and a half years of writing, and then having spent the last six weeks doing nothing but revising it, my book is finally finished. It's been written, revised, edited, revised, edited again and so on and so on, and it's been a long and tiresome job, but it's ready for submission to agencies.
I can't help thinking that this post is already feeling underwhelming, but I also don't really know how to feel. You know how when you reach the end of a TV show you loved, an anime, or a book series, and then you just sort of potter about wondering what to do with your life now? That's how this feels. For almost three years I've put a lot of energy and emotion into people who admittedly never existed; I've created their world, their perils, relationships of all kinds, and now it's all done I'm left feeling a little empty.
I had expected to finish a lot sooner than I did. For some reason I thought I'd be done when Dragon Age Inquisition came out (almost a year ago!), but I was way off. But because of that I did a lot of work planning out my next book - new world, new people, new sciences, new everything - in preparation to have something to move on to right away, and that's certainly lessening the blow.
And I know I said I wasn't going to start revising the book at all until September when all the kiddies went back to school, but I sort of...started...early. I started work on the first three chapters around the end of July to get them polished up first, thinking that I'd do just that and then use August, the noisiest month of the year, to do other things for my shop in prep for Christmas, but that didn't happen. I just kept reading, kept tweaking, and I was enjoying it so I didn't really want to stop. But I didn't need to.
The summer in Bristol has been pretty poor; it's rained almost constantly so there's been no one outside all through the school holidays - no teenagers playing loud and awful music, no kids screaming, no one swearing in the middle of the night acting like they're not in a domestic area because there are a few trees around them. And while I do admit I feel guilty for being so happy about how bad the summer was, I wouldn't have changed it. I was able to work without stopping once, which meant I could ensure that my book made sense, that it flowed, that I didn't forget information (necessary for ensuring it is actually in the book and not something I forgot to mention because it's 'so obvious' to me, as the writer), and that it generally unfolded the way I wanted it to. And I was concerned at several points through writing the book that it was dragging out and taking too long, but upon reading it, it's actually perfect.
And when I say I spent 6 weeks doing nothing but working on my book, I really do mean it. I would get up, have my breakfast, do my exercise, shower, and then my face would be buried in my laptop screen until half past 4 in the evening when I'd get the dinner on, and then I'd be glued to it again from 7 until 11pm, and which point Seeg and I would watch Naruto for 40 minutes and then go to bed. And the next day would repeat the same way. Every day. For 6 weeks. Except Sundays when I don't exercise, so I just started working on it sooner.
And I loved it. Seeg didn't, but he was playing Destiny so he's been busy anyway.
And, to top it all off, my parents have a caravan booked up as of this Saturday, so Seeg and I have a staycation, a week free of being a carer, and I've not got a book to revise to eat up all of that time. So hello crafting, binge-watching TV, listening to music outside of yoga, and playing a bucket load of video games.
I'm going to go to Lulu and get a copy printed for myself when I can afford it, and I'm currently already working on the synopsis for agency submissions. That's the last piece of work I have to do that's related to the story specifically, so once I've got my 1-1.5 page synopsis done and dusted (which is super duper important so this could take another couple of weeks) I'll finally be free to turn my attention away and onto my next book while writing my cover letter, query letter, bio and all the information an agent wants - nothing more, nothing less.
But I don't plan on submitting it yet. By the time all the technical stuff is done I think the post will start getting clogged for Christmas and I don't want to risk it getting lost, and it's not wise to submit it immediately anyway in case you need to tweak things after you've let it simmer for a bit. So I doubt I'll be submitting it annywhere until January, and it will take a few months before I know if anyone's interested in taking it on. And if they're not...I'm still thinking about self-publishing. If I'm rejected by everyone then by self-publishing, I could potentially help future submissions as they'd have some kind of figures and reader reviews to base my work on, even if they're not great. It would be better than nothing at all. But that's another scary prospect, sticking myself in the public eye without the guidance of a professional.
But I'm never going to get anywhere without taking risks.
Either way, you can bet I'll let you all know when I get my copy of the book, and when I start submitting and pretty much any information at all. And, if I self-publish, when it will be available.
Anyway, in celebration, though it may seem random, I'm having a small sale in my shop!
So until September 17th, use the code ITSFINISHED for 20% off of everything.