There's something very satisfying about finishing a draft, I find. But anxiety starts to creep in as I come to the end. This was a structural/plot/pace redraft. Where did all those odd characters go? What happened to the radioactive Thorium? What did the olde French 'Dechausee' turn out to mean? Why did I name so many characters with such similar names? Again?
Meanwhile, the weather beats against the windows like bleeding winter, the house feels damp, the chickens are begging to be let out but don't have armbands, so it wouldn't be safe, we seem to have even more kids that we had last week, and I'm half way through reading a not very satisfying thriller. I did suddenly panic last week, when I realised I haven't got a next book incubating in my imagination, so I talked it over with my patient and ever-optimistic husband. The character that has been stalking me for five years immediately raised his sneaky, psychopathic head - that is to say, someone mysteriously died and he was nowhere to be found. That's caught my imagination, and I've gone back to writing his journal, a device I used when I first wrote about him some five years ago. I'm just waiting to see what happens with The Secrets of Life and Death next week, polishing up the last pages of A Baby's Bones and then I can start tentatively writing. I always like to have two projects on the go, and I love this character. Writing his journal part time is great, because he's not a character I want to immerse myself in.