It Isn’t Over

Today, I begin editing my manuscript. I have not really done this before, for such a long work. The prospect is somewhat intimidating — how can I tackle such a large mountain? For that matter, didn’t I just come down that mountain? Why am I going back?

It is not so bad as it might otherwise be because I am only editing the first few chapters for now. That is all I need in full working condition for my submission, so that is what I will polish. The beginning is actually pretty solid anyway, as it is the section on which I spent the most time.

I recall, on an episode of “I Should Be Writing”, that Mur told about an old acquaintence of hers who wrote and wrote and wrote, every day, but it turns out, in the end, that he was writing the first paragraph over and over. It was, she reported, quite an impressive paragraph after a year or more of polishing, but one paragraph a novel does not make.

A while back, I feared that would be my condition, constantly cycling around the first section of the novel, back and forth, until the end of time (or the end of my patience, whichever came first). Clearly, I got through that, broke out of the cycle, but now I wonder: will I enter that same cycle on editing?

I think it is less likely now that the novel, in its rumpled form, is a complete thing. Now I *have* to edit the whole thing or else the changes I make in one part won’t make sense with the rest of it. That may sound silly, but my writing is about 80 percent psychological head game (as if there is another sort of head game) and 19 percent time spent. (That other one percent? The world may never know.)

Yesterday, my wife treated me to Texas Roadhouse, and my steak tasted like VICTORY. (Okay, to be fair, it tasted like charred meat, but charred meat tastes like victory, so by extension…) I won’t deny that the incentive of a nice dinner provided a small amount of push toward the final ending of my book.

Also yesterday, my wife read my novel. Seriously. She reads that fast.

I have a few days to make those first few chapters shine, write a summary and tack on various and sundry other items requested, then ship that puppy off to the real world.

Is it weird that I am somewhat nervous that it might actually be accepted?

Even if it does not, even if I get a rejection, it is all becoming more real now.

And real feels… weird.


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