I finished reading the first draft of my novel today.
You remember that saying?
‘Write the book you want to read‘.
Well, amazingly, I have.
There are many things that need addressing in my first draft: characterisation, point of view, setting, time period…all things that as yet have no consistency, but I know I can fix them. I have to fix them: because what astonishes me the most is the strength of my finale, how it leaves me with the same satisfied, gut-wrenching desire to follow my characters onward despite the story having been told.
When I was reading the last ten pages I did not even make notes in the margin, as I was so glued to the action. For those last ten pages I was as swept up as any reader becomes when the final scenes play out through words. Everything happened just as I remembered, only this time I was on the receiving end of it and it packed an even bigger punch that I could have hoped for: those final pages make me realise just how rewarding writing this story will be.
It gives me hope, some faith, that perhaps I am writing the right story at the right time. If I can build up to such a crescendo then there is potential for what comes before, surely? But mainly, what it gives me is the urgent belief that other people need to know this story I have written for those characters previously unimagined. It makes the struggle of writing this novel seem worthwhile.
This is how you should feel about writing. Perhaps not all the time, but on occasion – when you suddenly discover not how important writing is to you, but how significant you might be to the writing.