Last month, the second anniversary of my transition to being a full-time writer passed without my noticing. Maybe the second anniversary is never as exciting as the first, but I also have an excuse: I was finishing my book!
I told myself I would finish in April. Then in May. Then in July or August. But I know the difference between a real deadline and a fake one, so I knew I had to create consequences. I decided that if I got to September and still hadn’t finished, I would cancel all my social engagements until I did! Unfortunately, I didn’t clarify to myself. What about weekends, when I have to come up with ways to entertain the kids? What about parties I’d already agreed to host or attend? It wasn’t a clear enough consequence.
BUT. I finished! This is version 4.5 since September 2016, when I sat down with a new abundance of time and nothing but an outline. Version 1 was in third person POV and reused a character from an older version as the love interest. Then in January of 2017, I fell out of love with him. For version 2, I chucked about 30,000 words and the love interest, scrambling to finish by the end of April (and the real deadline of my editor). In version 3, I switched to first person POV (on said editor’s advice). Version 4 rejiggered all the relationships, took some great feedback from several more amazing editors, ruthlessly chopped 9,000 words (and so many darlings) from the first half, and added 6,000 words to flesh out the end.
Reader, I am so proud of this version. Of course I can always continue to improve it, and I’ll have to, but it’s amazing to finally, finally be garnering interest from agents. (Very, very small nibbles, but even teeny tiny bits of affirmation can sustain an author for a long time!) When I get more feedback, I will continue to incorporate it, but… I’m done! I got to the end! I wrote, edited, polished, edited, and got all the way to “The End.”
Now… on to the query trenches.