This is where I would put some witty sports analogy in, if I had one, about the thrilling play where the underdog is about to win the game. Frankly, I’m your typical woman; I could really care less if I miss some random game on TV. So, just imagine I spouted off some hilarious tale and you’re laughing like a little kid at a fart joke. Basically, I’m almost finished, ahead of schedule. How that happened, I must been a fiend for work?
With a few pages left to edit, I’m feeling pretty excited. Next, I’ll run through and fix a few grammatical boo boo’s (thanks Teri & Matt!), then start my final full read through. Yup, I’m going to waste a lot of trees and print my baby out.
A writer could revise forever, every time you read your work in full you see things you want to change, fix, cut. One could spend a lifetime on a solitaire piece of work. So how do you know when it’s ‘finished’? It’s a debatable issue for many. Some say novels are never finished, some say when they can walk away and never think about their characters again*. For me, the feeling of a piece being finished comes when I can walk away and not have a burning itch to fix. I can read it, find a few things I could fix, but could also leave as is. When I think my characters have told me all they have to tell, and when I can send it out for review or submission without the worry of embarrassment. That is when I sit back, and say it’s done.
Of course there is the issue of agent feedback. If there seems to be a trend in something needing to be changed. Then I would sit down, and give editing another go. Until that happens, I sit here and say it’s almost finished. My characters are getting tired of telling me their story, and I’m growing tired in hearing it. Not because I have lost faith in it, or want to give up on them. But because I feel as if they have done their job, and I have done mine. The feeling or need to poke and prod them, make them do or say more dwindles. Its time for it to be finished. I suppose it’s something like watching your child leave for college. You don’t want to let them go, you’ve seen them grow and change, finding pride in what they’ve become. But you know in your heart, its time to let go. Time for them to move on, time for them to go and do what they need to. Which can’t be done with you holding their hand. That is how I know its almost finished.
An update on my agent query, is that there’s no update. Not even a week since its been sent, they might not have even read it yet. I expect no reply truthfully, maybe a form rejection, but I hope otherwise. I found more excitement in sending it, then I have in waiting for a response. I wonder if that’s normal? I think its more a feeling of accomplishment that I took the next step, than it is hope their agency will pick me up. But, fingers crossed, perhaps I’ll hear back from them and have happy news to post. For now, it’s back to work. I have an ending to polish…
*Credit for quote given to Anne Tyler.