It feels a little bit sudden to write about letting go of this book when I’ve only just started being open about having written it. But it is where I am at right now.
The Winter Passing is now in its third draft. Most of the rogue apostrophes have been corralled, the tenses have been kicked into shape. And a lot of the slack plot points and under-developed characters have been tightened and rounded.
It feels like it is ready for more than my inner circle of beta readers. Which means I have to be ready to let go of a story that has been just mine. That I have to be ready to take on external criticism and face a few fears.
Fears? Sure. I’ve found a few.
- Can I write?
Something that constantly bothers me and to which I sometimes feel more sure of an answer than at others.
- Can I write a long story?
It would appear that yes, I can.
- I bet you think this book is about you.
Will people who know me think I’ve based characters on them? Probably. But they’d all be wrong. All of the characters in The Winter Passing are entirely fictional. Sure, they might share a hair colour, or a profession with people I know but none of them are lifted out of real life. If I wanted to write a biography of someone inspiring, I would go right ahead and do that. This is just made up stuff from my head.
- Have I written the book I wanted to read? This was one of the drivers behind starting to write. That I’ve read loads and loads of good books, great books even. I’ve fallen in love with characters and got caught up in stories. I’ve laughed and cried and been followed by their words and actions long after the last page is turned. But I’ve also been left wanting. Rather than wait for someone else to stumble on the gaps I wanted filling I tipped the story out of my own head. Is this the story I wanted to read? Pretty much, yes.
- Can I do it again? Do I want to?
I don’t know, but I think I want to try.
So, fears faced and still felt keenly I’m going to send my book out into the world on the next step of its journey. It will go first to an editor and then we’ll see what happens from there.
For me the characters are already chomping to get me to tell the next part of their story. And so, it is in a clean manuscript that I write again today, ‘Chapter One’.
I’m already excited and nervous about where this piece of writing will go.