Fourteen months ago, I started my novel The Grave Winner. Today I finished it. I’ve edited it like a crazy lady, um, I mean a sane writer. I’ve read and reread every critique I’ve ever received on it. I thought about critters’ concerns and questions. I’ve added, deleted, rewrote, and rewrote again. And it’s finally done.
The story has changed a lot since I first spewed it across my notebook. The reason Leigh was chosen is much different now, but I don’t think I’ll repost anything to Critique Circle because the changes are so minor in individual chapters. But then on a grander scale, it is very different from drafts one and two.
I’ve planted seeds I’m excited to work with in the sequels. Some of them are brand new too, so I won’t say anything more about them.
So, yeah, it’s done, and I’m terrified. Now the real work begins. I’ll tell you my plan: I’ll enter the first 250 words into a contest next week. Those first 250 words are winners, if I do say so myself, and I’ve won other contests with those same words. If I win, an agent will read my book. No promises – just a read and critique. If I don’t win or if the agent tells me I suck, I’ll take a ride on the query highway for awhile. When I get impatient with that, I’ll look at small publishing companies. When that gets old, I’ll enter Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel Contest. If I lose that, I’ll self-publish. So if any of these first roads lead to doom, this story will be published somehow. I’m too in love with it to let it sit on my computer forever.
In the meantime, I’ll plot the sequels and write at least the first chapter of another novel that’s knocking around in my head and won’t leave me alone. Writing will be therapy for my terror. That and chocolate.