Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Finishing a Book

by Matt Lynn
I haven't posted here for a bit because I've been through that annual bout of angst and exhausation known as finishing a book. I finally handed in 'Shadow Force' to Headline last week. No idea what they think of it yet. It seemed pretty good to me, but then you never really know....
One thing struck me as interesting. I have a strange reluctance to actually finish a book. I completed the first draft in January, then spent ages flaffing around, making small changes, tweaking lines, trying to iron out the typos. But I came away with the distinct impression I was reluctant to finish the thing.
I wonder if all writers experience that. It wouldn't surprise me. Finishing a book is a psychological hurdle that needs to be cleared much more than starting one. Up until, that point, you can always fiddle around, change things, fix things. But once it is in, it's in. There's nothing much you can do. You go from having total control over the manuscript to almost none. Scary.
And then of course there is the whole business of what people will think of it.
In fact, all that considered, it's amazing I got it in at all.


  1. Right there with you as I do a final final check of proofs for ROAD CLOSED - on which I've already done a fairly hefty rewrite, to my publisher's dismay. "It's important you're happy with it," they said, through gritted teeth. (They're always so nice to me!) But I doubt if I'll ever be 'happy' with a MS. As for the question of what people will think of it... Yes, it will be amazing if I ever let this one go. But publication looms... This is worse than preparing for exams!

  2. ps
    Any note of panic you may think you detected in my last comment is entirely coincidental... couldn't be further from the truth... (this from a writer of fiction)

  3. I have heard of this time of panic. I hope to experience it one day!


  4. For me the hurdle is doing the edits. I love writing the first draft but once I've finished that my mind tells me I'm done with that story and it's time to move on - of course that's just the start.