When a novel is finished there is always the period of mourning and loss. The character’s that you have spent so many hours with have nothing more to say to you, you’ve written countless drafts, it’s endured edit after edit, it’s been to reading groups, and it’s been sent out to agents, so now you wait.
It takes some time to let go and in my case, the agents who have my novel have requested the entire manuscript, so I must wait even longer. I don’t want to. I want the second the post goes out to get a telephone call, it arrived today and I couldn’t put it down! We love you! We will publish you! Can you fly out on the next plane? Why yes, of course, I can. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
The wait is a must, it’s a part of the writing. The brain needs a little holiday, a little time to breathe, to create some empty space, as very quickly those new characters of the next novel will squeeze out any remaining space. But, what to do in the meanwhile? It takes time to wind down and start to look at other manuscripts. I have two that I am studying. Which one next? Which one do I want to spend the next year or more with? Which character is crying out the loudest to get my attention? A ghost, or a stalker? I have yet to decide. But decide I must, for whatever the result with this set of agents, I have to move on, I have to write, I have to create, I have to finish. It’s all just part of the game.
So autumn and its glorious colours remind me that I too have to release the old leaves, the written pages, the old novel and let it be out there on its own, waiting for a yeah or nay, and I must start the process and begin again.