Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finished...for now.

I cannot describe the feeling when I clicked 'send' and off went the manuscript for Before the Scarlet Dawn to Ramona Richards, my new editor at Abingdon Press. Nervous? A little, yes. Worried? A bit. I think every author goes through these feelings. You wonder if the manuscript is good enough, and will the editor like it. You wonder if you polished it enough when you did the self-edits. And you hope readers will like the book. It's natural, I think, to have these thoughts.

I will say that even if this book were not going to be published, it still would have been a joy to write. Writing my other novels was a wonderful experience. But for some reason Eliza Bloome Morgan leapt out at me and took hold of my heart. She became so real to me, that when I typed the last line, my eyes teared. I wasn't saying goodbye. No. I was saying, 'I'll see you in book 2, Beside Two Rivers'. I have a glimmer of what is to happen to Eliza, the kind of things she will be experiencing. Will she ever regain acceptance in society? Will she ever see again a particular person that meant more to her than anyone in the world?

If you are not yet published, but you are writing, please enjoy the journey. Don't allow yourself to be blue for too long when you get a rejection. Write because you love to and because you are called. Be patient with your work. That doesn't mean you don't work on it every day. At least try to get some writing done each day. I have a schedule where I work Monday through Saturdays and I take Sundays off. I work in between loads of laundry, grocery shopping, making meals for my family, etc.

I titled this post 'Finished...for now'. Do you know why? Because a book is never finished until the editor give the final approval and it goes to print. Novels will go through at least three major edits. So keep that in mind. Your editor will be your partner in polishing your novel to a high sheen.

Keep writing.
Don't give up.
Be patient and persistent.


Jan Cline said...

So glad you are "done". You're right, its not finished until it's on the shelf! I agree with enjoying the journey. We are driving to Phoenix in a few weeks and I could chose a route that will just get us there quickly. But I dont want to rush the experience of what I might see along the way. Phoenix may be the end of our journey, but why not enjoy the ride?

Melissa K Norris said...

Just the inspiration I needed. I'm at the stage where the agent pitched my novel to an editor and I haven't heard anything in three months. Patience is a virtue God is determined to teach me. I may be a tiny bit stubborn. Grin.
I can't wait to read about Eliza. Good job on giving us a teaser without giving anything away. I to am a fellow writer between the housework, school buses, nap time, and the day job.

Bonnie Toews said...

It is a mixed blessing to write the end on a manuscript. People compare writing your story to having a baby, but when you come to that last sentence, it's more like sending your kids (the characters) off to college for more learning and polishing. You're not really saying good-bye. They will be back again, this time a little world-weary and ready for some finer finishing.

Eventually a gallery of faces greets us as each novel moves on. None of them less than another. All loved. All developed. All missed.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Rita -

Congrats on hitting "send."

Your post gave me a boost. I needed this encouragement today.

Susan :)