It’s been nearly a week since I released my debut novel, “The Child of 100 Years.” I worked on this story on and off for 4 years, so it’s a little hard to believe it’s finally finished.
When I started out, I had a vague idea that made up a random scene in the middle of the story. It took a while to find the complete picture. It really was like fitting a puzzle together, piece by piece. Some of the pieces ended up not fitting so well – I had to think critically about those things and analyze every part of my writing. For example, I spent a lot of time while writing my first draft getting to know my characters. That’s really what kept me going. I came up with names, descriptions, and brief backstories. I thought carefully how these people would respond to various conversations and social settings. I tried hard not to settle for cliches. In the final draft, I had to balance character development and plot, so much of what takes place between Elena and her friends has been left out. Vincent’s backstory was a bit more developed in the first draft as well, but after a while, I felt it was more important to know about Abel Dumont.
As editor and publisher, these are the kinds of decisions I need to make. I can honestly say however, that I love having creative freedom. Becoming a publisher has shown me how challenging completing a writing project really is. I give myself deadlines and have to step outside of writer mode and into editor mode. I have to read the book over and over again – searching for words and phrases that don’t fit, or things that seem out of place. I also have to think like a reader. Would I want to keep reading this book? Does the ending feel rushed, or have I successfully brought the story to a close? Forcing myself to think like this has made me a better writer.
I suppose if I were to sum up how I feel after publishing, I’d say I feel satisfied. I’m satisfied with the story – and the process of writing it. I’m satisfied with myself for pushing through and finishing this project.
Now it’s on to the next!