Well it’s almost time to hand up the finished manuscript to the publishers. I’ve just got one last push to do, should be an easy chapter but I’m totally stalled. It’s probably got a lot to do with the fact that I’m so close to the end, that it’s finally in sight and I’ll get my life back. I’ve always found endings the hardest to do!
Writing this book has been so different from writing fiction. When I’m drafting fiction it flows, I can sit down for hours at a time and just hammer out the action as it unfolds in my mind. That’s something you can’t really do with this kind of book. The action has to unfold the way it did in reality, I have to make sure I’m not putting thoughts into peoples heads, motives they never admitted to. It makes free flowing writing somewhat difficult.
I’ve been saying since quite early on in the project that I only intend to do this once. No one believes me but I’m dead serious. The more time I spend with this the more sure I am that this is not the way I want to work in future. There’s no space for editing, the only thing I have time to do is a hasty spell check before sending so the gradual revealing of something better than you started with is simply not going to happen with this one and I’m stuck with the text as it flowed out of my somewhat muddled mind.
OK so as a journalist that’s pretty much how I write normally but it’s depressing when you realise this is the one that will end up on the shelves, on Amazon, in Libraries. It’ll be no different from all the other books that were written under the same conditions but I had hoped it would be something more.
As I get it ready to send in I’m just all the more sure that this is not the best I could have written. It hangs together, it tells the story but its not exactly a masterpiece. As I say, these books never are, the true crime genre is not exactly where you find great works of literature, but I hadn’t realised how much I wanted it to be something special.
Still, I’ve got to make that final push. Finish the draft and let go of it far sooner than I’d like. In the end it’ll sink or swim on things other than it’s own merits. Marketing plays such a huge part these days and my publishers are pretty good at that end of things. The problem is whenever I get near the end of a project I start looking forward to what’s coming next and that doesn’t make it the easiest thing to focus on finishing the task in hand. I should stop navel gazing and finish the bloody thing!
Once it’s gone I’ll have to button down and start building on it. It’s only the first step on the ladder after all. Going to have to start a blog under my own name and see about establishing a presence out there in the blogosphere. But at the moment that just all feels like more work.
I’ve been working flat out since April and I’m tired. There’s a holiday looming at the end of next week although I’ll have to bring the laptop with me. Ah well, this isn’t getting it written…back into the breach it is so!