I am grieving over my novel

Writing a novel – a writer’s journal: part 21

I strangely find myself grieving.

I am grieving over my finished novel. That may seem a somewhat strange reaction to finishing my novel for children last Tuesday, but that is exactly how I feel. For almost nine months this story has been growing within me-and I didn’t plan the gestation period to be nine months, but that has an oddly significant synchronicity to it.

Much of my planning and thinking over the last nine months has centred on the novel and its characters. In particular, the last two months has seen me totally focused on getting the first draft done. I worked long hours on the story during that time and finally the first draft has come to an end. To carry the analogy even further, I almost feel like I’m going through some form of post-natal depression. Weird.

I was so caught up in the creative process of the developing story that the ending came with a real let down. It’s finished. What was going to happen to my characters now? They had come to life on the pages of my printed out manuscript-and now their lives have been cut short.

Now comes the messy part. Just as a new mother has to deal with a new born baby and the messy bits-the muck of excreta, the insistent demands to be fed, the restlessness of sleeping and waking-so too the new born novel screams out for attention. Before my novel can emerge into the wild, imposing, critical world for all to see, it demands my total attention again, and again, and again.

It needs a firm, disciplined and yet loving hand to mold it into shape. It has flaws that need correcting. It has errors that need elimination. It has aspects missing that need to be inserted. It has inconsistencies that need righting. Above all, it needs daily attention and assistance until it has reached maturity and I can wave it goodbye and send it off to a publisher.

Oh dear-I can see another day of tears looming, the day my baby leaves home for good.

I think I’d better go and get pregnant with another story.

Related articles:

  • Writing a novel – an archive of articles detailing how I went about writing a novel.


4 Responses to “I am grieving over my novel”

  1. abfabvet says:

    Hi Trevor, such emotion 🙂 but a great image. My book is stuck in the first trimester – a bit like the kangaroos that hold their embryo in stasis until the drought is over and they can afford to rear another joey.

  2. Trevor says:

    Interesting analogy Sue.

    All I can say is that you need to get hopping with your story. (Sorry – couldn’t resist that).

  3. rusty says:

    My father in-law made a joke that the baby better be a boy or not to bother telling him. I was so hurt! How do you even respond to comments like this?

  4. Trevor says:

    Hi Rusty,

    I’m not sure how I would respond. For once I’m lost for words – which is strange for me.