I have one change and then one more read through of my work
in progress (wip), and if all goes well (meaning I don’t find any major problems and I do fix all minor ones I come across), my story will be ready to send off to the agent who requested it.
I don’t know about others, but this is always a difficult time for me. First of all, I’m always wondering if what I send is really THE BEST story I have to offer (at this time). If I kept it home and read it through again, would I find errors? Would I realize I could say something better?
I don’t think writers are ever 100% happy with what they’ve written, even after it’s been published. It seems like the moment a story goes into print, I hear a bit of information that I KNOW would be great in the story, or I read another writer’s work and discover a better way to express an emotion, describe a smell, create tension, develop… The list goes on and on because, as a writer, I’m always learning. We’re all always learning. (Writing is called a craft.)
I rarely read the finished book. Oh I carefully read the line edits and the copy edits and galleys or advanced reading copies. Those are the stages where I can make changes if necessary. Of course, that’s not the time to rewrite the story, but if I have made a real booboo and changed a name, or something has been left out, or I have a typo, misspelled word, etc., I can fix that. But once the book is in actual print and on the shelves, it’s too late. Yet I know, if I give the book another read through, I’m going to find things I WISHED I’D CHANGED.
The other reason it’s always difficult for me to say goodbye to my wip is I’ve lived with these characters for a long time. They’ve become friends. They talk to me, tell me when something isn’t working right or suggest new situations where they can shine. In this case, I’ve lived with these characters for over two years. First my main characters started out whispering to me, giving me ideas about their pasts. Over time their voices grew stronger
and they were quite insistent on what they would or would not do.
I know readers like sequels, and I fully understand why writers like to write sequels. They don’t want to say goodbye to the characters. In my case, I know my characters are fictional, I know they’re not really talking to me, but darn it all, they’re my friends, and even though I’m going to soon send them on a journey, I hope we’ll have a chance to spend more time
together in the future, time to meet new people, and time for them to get into more trouble.
How about you? Is that how you feel, or are you glad to say goodbye?