Have you ever had an idea so fantastic that you knew if you could just clearly convey it to others that they would love it just as much as you? Yet when you try to take this concept and verbalise it to your peers or put it into print, it fails in comparison to the whimsical ideals that you have developed in your mind’s eye? I have.
Lately I have been adding the finishing touches to the first draft of a manuscript that has been six years in the making. During that time I have produced a number of other finished manuscripts, poems, short stories and micro-fiction pieces, but all have fallen short in comparison to this one idea that has been caught up inside my fucking head.
Over those six years the plot of my story has changed dramatically: from its humble beginnings dealing with the implementation of the Kyoto protocol, to a version involving serial killers in Las Vegas, to the inception of what I can honestly say is my favourite protagonist and cluster of antagonists that I have ever created. The idea has varied so dramatically that I look back on my earlier attempts to complete the manuscript and can’t even fathom what my imagination was attempting to create. But through all of these changes there has been one solid ideal that has remained constant. That idea is that this is to be the first of a four novel saga. The concept behind the creation of my protagonist was to create a series of novels that documented his turbulent life as he sought retribution from the men who have wronged him (a feat that fills me with trepidation considering it took six years to complete the first draft of novel number one).
Without giving too much away, I would just like to say that I am incredibly excited that I have finally produced an (almost) completed version of my story that I deem worthy to present to the world. However in saying that, I am also somewhat saddened that I am moving towards the end of an era in regards to the relationship that I have formed internally with some of my characters. No longer will I be able to talk to myself in the shower or while scrubbing the dishes and refer to myself as Jason, Rapier, Pestilence, or Joshua, as at least half of those characters have been met with a horrific death over the past few weeks.
As soon as I complete the draft I am going to do a number of things; my first reaction will probably be to burst into tears and run down the street screaming I did it at the top of my lungs. After that I will probably sit back, put my feet up and have a beer to celebrate the hellacious yet unbelievably rewarding six years of writing that has been. Then, when I am finished indulging myself, I’ll get down to the nitty gritty of what I do; the editing cycle. When you have produced a manuscript that has amounted to roughly eighty thousand words on a first draft there is a huge chance that you’ve made a few mistakes in there somewhere. Misspelt words, grammatical misconstructions, and general plot errors are going to become the bane of my existence as I prepare to finalise my manuscript to place before publishers.
It’s going to take some time to edit my work, in reality it will be a couple more months before the manuscript is finalised and the editing process is complete. I’m going to hate it. I always hate editing, it’s time consuming and incredibly draining mentally. But when it’s all said and done and my work is completed and ready to be shipped off to publishing houses I’ll be able to run down the street once more and with tears streaming down my face in celebration. Then when I pull myself together, I’ll sit down, take a deep breath, and begin penning the opening lines to novel number two of four.