Or Your Money Back has been a test run for me in a lot of ways - Can I write a novel that takes less than 100,000 words? Can I write a stand-alone? Can I write something with a romance plot at the heart of it? The answer to all of these so far seems to be "Yes," but there's one more important question that I'm just getting to the bottom of, a week after putting down the first draft: Can I finish a book?
It's not the same as "Can I finish a first draft?" That I know I can do. I've done that three times now. The thing I wanted to know most, going into this project, was what happened when I put a story down for good. I've never done that before - not with an involving, novel-length thing. Prior to OYMB, what I'd written were installments of a fantasy trilogy (AKA The Beast That Ate My Adolescence) that I'd been working on for upwards of a decade. Because there was always another novel coming next in that series, I never had to really say goodbye to the characters. So I'm doing that now, for the first time.
I've lived every day with Seb & Co. for the last three months. They were welcome, quiet roommates, and now that I don't have them to focus on, I feel very slightly lost. You know that moment after you wake up from a really nice dream, when you're reaching to catch onto it but it's already gone, and you're a little disappointed? It's like that. Which is fitting, for this particular dreamy little book.
Apparently the answer to "Can I finish a book" is: yes, I can. I'm waking up from this book, stretching, scratching, yawning out morning breath.
So, new day. What's next?