It is done. The YA fantasy novel I've been writing since last July has been finished. Around 80,000 words and around most of my soul have been printed on 270 pages.
I feel elated. But it's also a bittersweet feeling because I had grown fond of my characters and I'm not going to see them for a while.
Well, until I return to it to start the second draft that is.
But I'm taking Stephen King's advice and I'm going to let it sit for a week. I printed the whole thing, bought a nice box for the stack to fit in, and I've placed the manuscript in a tidy drawer.
I am planning on ten total drafts. I'm not going to compromise my work by being lazy and saying it's good enough. It's never good enough until the readers I'm planning to send it to come back to me with: 'Damn, that was good.' And even then it won't be good enough. It'll never be good enough. It can only be good.
And of that, I am convinced. I am proud of how White Light Pictures turned out. But there's a bit more to go.
I've never worked so hard on my writing before. I woke up in the middle of many nights, I missed a lot of sleep, I could barely contribute to a conversation because I was always still thinking of my novel, and my neck is sore from having my head buried in words.
But now I am done. I deserve a break and, by Jove, I'm going to have it.
Writing is addicting and I was an addict for a while there. So now it's time for some detoxing, which is going to involve a lot of reading.
I usually read during writing but while I was working on White Light Pictures, my reading was slightly back-burnered.
And, coincidentally and serendipitously, I received the March/April issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction today, so I have plenty to read, plenty of snug stories I can get lost in.
Whatever happens to White Light Pictures after I'm done with the ten drafts, this novel changed my life. I'm a better human being, I'm a better writer, I'm a better reader. And, most importantly, I'm ready to show it to the world.