I recognize that the end is NOT the end at all. Once I get to the last page I am eager and excited to go right to page one and re-read the whole darn thing. Why? Because I need to round, fine tune, and tie off some stuff.
See, often in writing the climax of a book I will hit upon the true soul of the novel. I mean sure, when I first began at page one I always suspected I knew what that soul would be. And yes, I’d always suspected I’d know the shape that soul would take. But until you actually pen the soul of a novel, it never fully reveals itself to you.
And once it does, as a writer, I become eager to go back in, starting at page 1, and make sure that I have done the kind of polish that makes the piece presentable to a reading audience for the first true time.
Some writers show their work to people as they go. To their agent, to their editors, to their trusted confidantes, to their dog. (Hey, we’re all starving for praise and my dog is reticent to scorch my work… I like her attitude!) Me, I’ll show my outlines to these people as I develop the project but I never show my fiction until I believe I have gotten it to the point of it being “really ready”.
And “really ready” to me means that I have written a piece that will take the reader to the best point I can take them on my own. None of this “oh, and I plan to fix that” or “wait, see I am going to change this”… that’s not how I work.
If there is work yet to be done, I like to go do it my feeling being that why should I try and verbally explain what I plan to do as opposed to just making sure I go do it and get it done right?
Because look, I know that once my editor sees the book, once my agent sees the book, once my dog sees the book, everyone is going to weigh in with a comment. (Yes, even the freakin’ dog!) And feedback is good. I like feedback. Once you mature as a writer you learn about how these people are on your side. They really want to help make the book the best it can be and as such, if they see something (which they inevitably will) they will let me know about it.
And then we will chat and then we will weigh things and then I will head off to go do re-write number 2, 3, 4 or 5.
But re-write number one, that’s my territory.
Getting a bit long… more on this tomorrow.