You type “The End.” Then what? If you’re like me, first you cry. (I always do.) One part of you is happy. I mean you’ve worked a long time on the manuscript. Maybe you’re on deadline. Maybe you have a publisher or agent waiting. Maybe it’s the first novel you’ve written, and it feels really good—really really satisfying to be done.
But maybe, you’re like me. The deadline is of your own devise. Maybe it’s not your first rodeo (as one of the characters in my just-finished-manuscript would say). Maybe you’ve been through this a few times, maybe even with this particular manuscript. Maybe it was a major revision. Then maybe (if you’re like me) you have mixed feelings.
On the one hand, I’m happy. I’d been working on this book for a long time, a really long time. I wrote it once for NaNoWriMo a couple of years ago. Rewrote it after that because it was a disaster. Rewrote it a third time with this major revision.
On the other hand, I’m ready to move on to something new. New characters, new storylines.
On the other hand (can there be three hands? I say yes: it’s fiction after all.), I can’t stop thinking about what the other people are doing—you know, those characters—the ones who’ve been keeping me up at night. For the last month or so (who’m I kidding, it’s for the duration) of writing a manuscript, I don’t sleep well. I wake up early and they (those people, those characters) are the first thing on my mind.
In the past few days (since I finished said manuscript), in no particular order, I’ve run the gamut of these emotions about the characters I just bid adieu to.
These characters are like friends. Except they aren’t. Some of them I really don’t like very much. But I dreamed about them. They live and breathe within me. [Read more…]