January 8, 2011

I’ve been quiet the last few days, for which I apologize. But you see, I’ve been hard at work editing. The last two or three days have been devoted to the final read-through, the line-by-line inspection to ensure that there are no typos remaining, that characters’ eye colours are always the same, that the best word has been utilized every time.

And now I’m done.

To be honest, typing this, my hands are trembling a bit, and I feel weak and shaky. This is not my first novel. It’s my first novel that’s actually of saleable length and that I’ve permitted other human beings to read, but I’ve come to the end of long, involved projects before. Why is this so different?

I care about this one most.

For one thing, it’s been with me longest. I can trace one of my character’s earliest prototypes back to October 2007. If she waited that long for me to figure out how to tell her story properly, I hope it was worth it. This character and the vague beginnings of her world got shelved; I got distracted by another character and another world… only to realize the two fit together like hydrogen and oxygen. A year of plotting/character work/worldbuilding (on and off), a year or so of writing and editing…

And I’m done.

But I’m not done. The journey continues. And that’s scary, because I’m not sure where the path leads from here. The intense editing has reaffirmed to me how much I care about this story, how much I believe in it… but I don’t know whether it’s good enough to survive the real world. I know, I know, there’s only one way to find out. But still, I’m now basically sitting with this “finished” product, scratching my head and wondering, “Now what?”

Any and all advice is welcomed. But for the moment, I think a celebratory drink is in order.





  1. Congrats! I’m right behind you, but you got there first.

    Here’s my advice since you asked: Take some time to revel in what you’ve accomplished, but not much — maybe a day. If you haven’t already got an agent/publisher in mind, start researching. Find the best match you can for yourself and the type of novel you’ve written and begin submitting.

    Soon as this first manuscript is in the mail/email start a new story. It doesn’t matter if the new work is a short story or a novel, just get back to work as soon as possible. Keep busy and don’t worry about your first submission; it may take months to get a response, especially from publishers — agents might be faster, but not necessarily. I think you’ll be less inclined to fret if you’re busily engaged on your next big thing.

    Just my two inflation-degraded cents. Congratulations again, Arvik!

    — david j.

    • Thank you, David, that’s great advice! I’ve started looking at agents… agentquery.com has proved useful for finding agents that will actually represent SF&F.

      I agree with you on starting a new project. It’s time, I need to get away from this world and these characters. I’ve been thinking about trying my hand at short fiction; this might be a good time to start.

      Good luck with the completion of your novel; I’ll be there, ready to toast!

  2. Congratulations, that’s a great place to be! (Sigh), I wish I was withing 100,000 words of it.

  3. Good luck, if you’re trying to find a publisher or agent. That search is a long one–something that I know all too well. Still, it’s worth the effort. Occasionally, you do find someone.

  4. Congratulations! 2011 is off to a wonderful start for you, eh? 🙂

    Enjoy that drink! And good luck releasing your work into the world.

  5. Definitely raising a glass to you, fellow writer!!!!!
    When I took my first three chapters and query letter of my first finished (still not published because life got in the way…) to the post office, the post office person had to pry it out of my fingers. Then she carelessly tossed it in the mail bin and my heart broke into pieces.
    Last month I finished the first draft of my 3rd full novel…so 2011 is high time to get these things published. I am also looking into self-publishing. Iuniverse seems to be my current favorite possibility.
    Keep us posted.

    • Yep, I can see the postal workers having to wrench the package from my trembling hands. Ah well… all part of the journey, right?

  6. Good job and congratulations, I’m on my way there, still editing though.


  7. Wow! Congratulations in finishing your novel!! 😀

  8. Congratulations on this sizable achievement!

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