Well, I finally did it. I finished a book. Writing one, that is. I cleared my calendar all summer of almost everything and gave myself an August 31st deadline. Here in Texas that wasn't so much a sacrifice. Nearly everyday from May until the beginning of September the temperature was 100 degrees or above, except for those days it dipped to 99. So going out in that kind of oven was not the least appealing to me.
I wanted to be able to stop saying I'm working on a novel. After all, who doesn't say that? (A friend pointed out to me that she doesn't know anyone who says that, so it depends on the circles in which one travels.) I wanted to be able to say I have completed a novel, and now I have to learn how to get an agent, and then, a publisher.
For a few days I was so excited that I had achieved this milestone. Then, oh yeah, then, I realized all the problems with the book. I wondered about the narrative arc, the characters, the plot, for God's sake. What's the plot? Then, very kindly, a dear friend in my writing circle told me what the plot was. Wheewh! What a relief. I had a plot that someone other than me (or is it I?) could discern.
Now, with a whole week's worth of distance, I have to go back through and revise. But since I work in such a fashion that I have revised and revised and revised as I went along, it shouldn't be as painful as I anticipate. Plus, (now this is a big plus) I have a writing salon (sounds so literary, doesn't it?) and together we have been revising and commenting on each other's work all through the process.
Next question: How do you compose a query letter? I'm giving myself one week to figure that out. Wish me luck.