Last night I finished Bloodrose (Nightshade #3).
Finishing up a manuscript is an amazing feeling, euphoric and draining. I cried a lot - it's not unusual for me to cry when I'm writing a book, particularly at its conclusion. This book evoked more tears than usual though because it's the third book in the Nightshade trilogy. It's the first time I've ever completed a full series arc and I have to say I was a bit of a basket case when the story came to a close.
But as much it was a bit sad, mostly I was ecstatic. I did it! The book is written!!
Except that I'm not actually done.
Sure, I wrote the first draft. And yes, that's a big deal.
My experience of writing is that I'm jumping up and down about it immediately after draft one, and then I'm suddenly terrified that it's no good. Those fears get worse once it's out in the hands of my crit partner (I'm looking at you, Lisa!) and my agents. Their feedback is the first I get in the revision process. They are brilliant and I trust them completely; even so, waiting for their reads is always a bit of a nail-biting experience. The nagging insecurity about sending a new story into the world is something that I doubt will ever go away.
Soon I'll begin the revision process. The first time I went through the revision cycle with Nightshade I was really nervous, not sure what to expect or if I'd be able to do it well or efficiently. Now I look forward to it, knowing that the draft I'm excited about is still a work in progress - and that's a good thing. Writing the first draft is a frenzied, all-consuming experience. Revisions are where I get to take stock and really fine tune the piece.
As much as I *finished* Bloodrose last night it's thrilling to know that my journey with this book is far from over.
This weekend I'll be in Washington D.C. at the American Library Association annual meeting. Anyone who will be around D.C. at the convention, I'll be signing at the Penguin booth on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. and I'd love it if you stopped by!