This stack of paper is what a 94000 word novel looks like in raw unadulterated manuscript form. There’s three more like this in my drawers, three different drafts. I can’t stand to part with them. I’m just a hoarder. But I’ll have to let this one go.
Because it’s done.
Right now the sample chapters and synopsis are sitting in an envelope ready to wing their way across the Atlantic to spend their winter holidays sitting in slush. There’s nothing more I can do. For me it’s over (for now).
So I’m free. Free to dip into the notebook and look at all those short story ideas that I’ve been salting away. Where to start? I feel like a kid on Christmas morning not knowing which present to unwrap first. I’ve got opening sentences, endings, settings, characters. There’s a thousand words of opening lines for one story, even a full three-thousand worder that I brought back from America that just needs some re-working and polishing. And then there’s that idea for the next novel that’s rattling the drawers of my desk, trying to get out. Hmm...
I love this moment. I’m going to savour it – take my time.
There again, here’s Randall Moss sitting in that elegant Japanese restaurant in Chertsey with his muddy boots on. And my protagonist is about to step through the door and confront him.