Funny thing – going through parts 1 and 2, I had no real difficulty chopping and revising; I knew they needed work, and I was quite prepared to do it. Part 3 has been a quite different story although I’m more or less done with it now as well.
My trouble with part 3 has been the same through four full drafts now – I get absorbed by it; I stop thinking critically about it, and just read it. This is somewhat counterproductive, since whatever changes need to be made don’t ever get made. Today has been a little different; I have made changes. Not significant changes; I still find that I’m happy with it, with the pacing and the way the threads all come together at the end, but I’ve corrected typos and inconsistencies, which I’ve never been able to do before, which must prove something.
And, to some degree, it’s done now.
By which I mean that the major structural problems I had with the thing are gone; I like the way it flows now; I think it all makes sense, and I’ve even had more than one positive review of parts one and two. I’m prepared to redraft if need be; I’m even happy to make more changes if they make it work better. But I’m also at the point where I might just allow myself to think: OK, that’s done. I’ve written it; I like it, and I’m ready for the next thing to happen. It’s been a long time coming; this feeling of satisfaction, and I’m sure my opinion will change again, but…
I’m done. I’ve written a book, and I’m happy with it. That has to count for something.
And in the end – does it read like a proper novel? We’ll see. I went into today’s work ready to change the ending if I didn’t like it, but – aside from some chopping out of a plot point I’d already removed from part 1, and which I knew didn’t work – I read it again, and I still liked it; it’s true to each of the characters, I think.
Full text now available (in two chunks for now!) for anyone out there with a Kindle and time to give it a read through. Bonus: you’ll almost certainly appear in the acknowledgements page (hey; I have to write an acknowledgements page!)
Word count: 136,855 – down 7.8% from the third draft (told you I didn’t change much in part 3!)