Thoughts on Completing a Novel

by MW Cook

     I’m done.

     More or less, at least. My novel has been through three full revisions and stands strong at 175,000 words. That’s about 455 pages in paperback. It’s good. I like it. It’s done. It even has a title: The Chronicler and the Bard. Soooo sexy.

     So now what?

     I feel…

  • Light. As a novel grows it gets heavy. Doing that final revision late last night was cathartic. It was as if the book was a big bird on my shoulders that finally decided to fly.
  • Satisfied. I’ve opened Scrivener a few times this morning just to look at what I’ve done. I feel like a man who’s just finished building his house and is ready to move in. And it’s a house I can stand beside. I feel no reason to be falsely modest about this: the book is good.
  • Encouraged. This is my second novel. Do you know what that means? I’m a freakin’ novelist. That’s right, I’m kind of a big deal. And if I can do it twice, I can do it again. And again. And a-freaking-gain.
  • Sober. Storytelling is sacred. The storyteller creates worlds and, thus, mirrors God. It’s a holy thing, when it’s done right. I look at my work and am glad that I never took it lightly.
  • Hopeful. The novel is done, now I need to make it fly. I entertain thoughts of book tours and signings and meeting all my nerdy celebrity heroes. I think I’m allowed those dreams, too.
  • Thankful. I’ve always thought that creativity comes from outside. I’m thankful for that elusive Muse who’s been buzzing around and flirting with me. She led me on a merry chase, and pissed me off more than once, but she eventually gave me the whole story. Thanks, Muse. I’m also thankful for my wife, who has always encouraged me. When my busy work week is done, her first thought is how she can enable me to write more. She’s my hero. This book is for her.
  • Excited. What comes next? What do I write from here? Whatever it is, it’ll be something new. And that’s a wild thought.
  •      That’s how I feel. But what do I do? What do I do the day after I’ve completed a novel?

         Start the next one. Duh.