May 27, 2009
I finally got off the fence and sent the manuscript to Bruce the Agent. Rather unromantically, he asked me to send it to him via email as a single word document, single-line spacing. He didn’t want it wrapped up in ribbon and delivered by carrier pigeon.
In the event that we hoodwink some unsuspecting publishing house into buying the thing, any editor will want changes made anyway, so little point fretting over every tiny detail at this juncture. There’ll still be plenty of time for all that.
So I now I get to sit back and worry about what Bruce is going to say. I’m guessing he’ll send it on to my agent in NYC, too. Her reaction will be as telling as his.
Final stats:
3,064 Paragraphs
11,457 lines
141,025 words
662,459 characters (not including spaces)

Thanks for That

May 27, 2009

Here’s a cheerful quote from Ernest Hemingway that I came across this evening. It’s from Lillian Ross’s inspired portrait that appeared in the New Yorker in 1950.

“After you finish a book, you know, you’re dead.”
Still haven’t sent the manuscript to Bruce. But I’m not dead, either.

Deer, Meet Headlights

May 26, 2009
Still haven’t sent the manuscript off to Bruce the Agent. I made the mistake of idly flicking through it again this morning. I spotted a mistake, then something I wanted to change, then something else… by the time the children woke up there were pen marks all over the first few chapters and I was wondering whether I’d ever send the stupid thing out.
I have two new readers, standing by to read the whole thing… now I’m wondering what the big rush to send it to Bruce is. After all, it’s been five years, so what’s another couple of weeks?

OK, so now what?

May 23, 2009
It’s an obvious enough question. I still woke up at 5 o’clock this morning, even though I’ve no more book to write. Here I am, twiddling my thumbs, and finally doing some blogging. (Whether that’s a good thing or not is open to debate.)
Well, here’s what going to happen next:
  1. I’m going to spend the long weekend with my manuscript, having a last think about it all, and then it will be sent off to my agent Bruce on Tuesday. After that, I hope there will be something actually worth writing about as we begin the process of hawking the book around publishing houses, both in London and New York.
  2. In the meantime, I will go in mourning. Two different flavors of remorse here: I have lived with my characters for five years, and they’re finally gone. I got rather fond of most of them and I’m sorry to see them go. Secondly, I’m bidding goodbye to the possibility of making the book any better. Novels can always be improved, whether in big or small ways, but at some point the author has to slam that door shut. It’s a scary thing to do.
  3. Thirdly, I’m going to start thinking about the next book. Already lots of ideas flying around.
  4. There will, inevitably, be more blogging.
  5. I may even do more (legal) work, at least for a while.
  6. Finally, I’m going to become a reading fool.
It’s pleasing to have the manuscript finally completed, but oddly I don’t feel especially happy about it. There’s still a long way to go, and my private little project of the last five years is about to enter the public realm. I’m apprehensive.

This is What a Finished Novel Looks like

May 22, 2009

Boy oh boy. Don’t quite know whether to laugh or cry. Or blog.