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Instead of waxing poetic about finishing my novel (as I neither wax nor am I poetic), I figured I would map out my journey post-finishing as an exhibit for you, dear wenches. Feel free to reference back when you finish, nod or disagree if you’ve already finished one, or just laugh at my ridiculousness. All reactions are acceptable.
1. Squee - I actually managed some really loud squeeing. In fact, my squees scared my poor one year old so much that his little face folded in on itself as if my fit of insanity was the manifestation of one of his greatest fears (I wonder if he worries about my mental state often – hmmm…). Then he started wailing. This promptly made me feel horrible so I scooped him up and we danced around the room. He laughed and I felt better.
2. Dance around the room – see above.
3. Send an email to friends, call friends, stop random people on the street to spread your good news, etc. - Frankly, it was near impossible to not let my relief out. I rambled; I babbled; I otherwise made a complete fool of myself. My writerly friends of course smiled and nudged each other (through cyber-space), equally proud of me and happy for me, undoubtedly rolling their eyes at my silliness, but all aware of what a big accomplishment it is. My real life friends, though happy for me, don’t get the depth and breadth of such a goal achieved but they were happy I was happy and that’s all I needed.
4. Go out to dinner – My hubby and I went out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner as a joint anniversary/book finishing celebration. I had something for dinner, Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake for dessert (you didn’t really care what I had for dinner, did you? I figured just the dessert detail would be enough), and one strawberry Ketel One Martini (I’m a cheap date *sigh*). He toasted me twice, we held hands, and he told me repeatedly how proud he was of my accomplishment and how lucky he was to be married to me. *Sappy girl sigh.* I can leave my characters’ romance behind as long as my hubby is my forever hero.
5. Read – On my way home from dinner Saturday, we stopped at Borders and I picked up Twilight. I finished it Sunday night and stopped to get New Moon and Eclipse. I finished Eclipse last night. I’ve missed reading. I completely hibernated for a couple of days. It was wonderful. I think the key here though was not to read any historicals. I do have revisions coming up.
6. Avoid revising – This sounds like such an easy one, doesn’t it? I mean, I just spent forever with my characters. They’ve kept me awake for months, more so in the last two-ish weeks of writing, and I should want to leave them alone. I shouldn’t want to mess with them until I force myself. But the urge to revise is really strong. I even started messing around on Friday, though it was a huge mistake. I realized though, that I was getting twisted up. I think I’m so exhausted with it that I need to take a break for a couple weeks and then try to read it with some fresh eyes. So, a week and a half from now I’m going to start to read it through.
7. Write a query letter – Ugh. I repeat… UGH. I started this process a couple months ago and it’s no easy task. Condensing your huge work, even after it’s finished, into a few short lines meant to entice. Ugh. Still working on this. In bits and pieces. Have lots of time.
8. Write my synopsis letter – Quadruple UGH. While the query letter is hard, this is just frustrating. Every sentence needs to be concise. I figure I’m not sweating it yet. I mess with it now and again and assume that once my revisions are done, this will clarify as well
9. Try not to drown in the sea of denial that keeps my query and synopsis apprehension at bay - *blinking.* What denial?
10. Start my next story – In this case, I had to ask what Nora would do. And that’s right, people, she doesn’t take a long vacation. So, I’ve started brainstorming. This part is fun, only requires note-taking, and just happens as I putter about in my life.
If you’ve finished a book, what did you do? If you haven’t, what would you do? Any advice for a newbie finisher? Anyone ever had the Chocolate Coconut Cream Cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory? I’m telling you, yum.
Aside: A giant, wet, slobbery fangirl hug to all my cyber romance writer friends who have stood by offering support when I felt nervous, threatening harm when I needed prodding, and generally being awesome in every way. Thanks to all of you, I’m forever grateful for your help.
Oh, and I absolutely can't wait for Breaking Dawn or this movie. I am obsessed. At least this week.