by Lillian Csernica on October 20, 2014
Today is a glorious day for me. Today I sent my novel manuscript to my agent.
It’s been a while since I’ve experienced the exhilaration of this singular experience. Sword Master, Flower Maiden is 90, 000 words long. All those words have been written, rewritten, cut and reorganized and cut and polished and cut a bit more. I think I have an inkling of how a gem cutter must feel when the diamond comes out just right. Patient application of both art and craft has brought out the special quality in the heart of the stone.
I want to go out and party. I want to eat ice cream. I want to drive down the coast hanging my head out the window while the breeze whips my long hair into impossible knots.
This is what happens when I finally reach that point where I can say, “Yes, the book is done!” My agent may disagree, and that’s OK. She showed me how to make Ship of Dreams a stronger and better story. I have faith in her knowledge and her instincts. Until she gets back to me, I can do the happy dance that goes along with this stage of writing and publishing a novel.
So now what? What do I do now that I have Finished My Novel? I start writing the next one. “Wait!” you might say. “Don’t you get a break? Don’t you get to relax for a while?” Sure. Tonight I’ll eat ice cream and watch “Cupcake Wars” on Netflix. Tomorrow I keep working on the plot outline for the sequel. NaNoWriMo is just around the corner. I want to be ready to take a flying leap into the adventure of cranking out 50,000 words in just 30 days. Time to pull a kitchen sink and throw everything into the ms that seems like a good idea at the time. I’ll sift it later and make those creative decisions that move my hero and heroine forward on both their personal character arcs and on the major story arc as a whole.
I did do something really cool to celebrate finishing this novel. I bought myself a present. Thanks to the nice folks at Teespring, I now have a black long-sleeved shirt with a message on the front that reads:
“I CREATE HAPPILY EVER AFTERS.
What’s your superpower?”
So here’s a high five to all my NaNoWriMo comrades, and to all my fellow novelists. Let’s cheer each other on as we cross our individual finish lines.