Well, friends, I’m coming down the home stretch. By next week, my novel will be written, if it does not happen sooner than that. People have asked me this question: what does it feel like to finish a novel?
As this will be the third one I have published, it feels a little like saying goodbye.
What I mean by that is you live and breathe the characters and their situations for so long, that when you’re done writing their story, their story is over, and you have to say farewell.
The creative process of actually building and telling the story is my absolute favorite part of novel writing. Rewriting, reworking, and all the marketing are certainly not my favorite aspects. As you develop your work of fiction, you are permitted to live vicariously through your characters and the plot; you imagine their paths, conversations, and hardships, and you allow them to develop and change for your reader. There is never a point in my writing when I don’t think about the reader. The reader is always at the forefront of my mind with regard to this craft. I never want to disappoint, and if I do, I promise you, it is not intentional.
As I begin to write the final two chapters of this book, knowing full well how it will proceed and how it will end, a sense of melancholy comes along with it.
I’m still on track for a September delivery, and I intend to keep my promise.
And so, in the end, when people ask me what it feels like to finish a novel, I can only respond this way: it feels as if another part of you is set free, which is wonderful, but it also feels a great deal like saying goodbye to something you love.
Stephanie Verni is the author of Baseball Girl, Beneath the Mimosa Tree, and the co-author of Event Planning: Communicating Theory and Practice.