Across The 3rd Novel Finish Line

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The finish is no longer somewhere off in the, uh, nebulous “distance.” It’s done. The draft Distances manuscript is finished:

Screen capture of the top of the final page of the “Distances” manuscript.

And, whew, in a way I am about finished now, too. I crossed the finish line yesterday afternoon. After I did, I sat for a few moments staring at the computer screen in semi-disbelief.

What remains now is the final proofing for spelling, grammar, and any other errors. Doing that will take a month or so: it’s nearly 93,000 words. I already found a few mistakes in rereading part of it last night.

Tourists at the Eiffel Tower. [Photo by me, July 1996.]
Tourists at the Eiffel Tower. [Photo by me, July 1996.]

As I wanted it to be, Distances is similar in scope to Passports and Frontiers. Based on how long those each took me, I’m actually over a month ahead of where I had expected to be with Distances about now. I’m not quite sure how I managed to so outpace my planned “timeframe.”

I’d like to believe I’ve gotten “better” at this. I do know I have learned never to think, “Oh, God, I have to write so much.” Instead I just keep my head down and plow on, writing a scene at a time, a page a time, and a chapter at a time.

It’s a cliché, but it’s accurate. If you can manage even “3 pages” a day for “100 days,” you can have a novel written in just over three months. My uncle has even voiced something much like that to me also.

Of course that’s just for guidance. Rarely can you maintain that pace. In my case, those 380 pages took me about seven months. I’ll take it, because it’s not a race either. First and foremost, you have to write well. However, creating a “target” date also helps you focus and avoid becoming yet another person “writing a novel”…. who never actually finishes it.

I didn’t have one last night. And it’s too early here yet (in Britain) for a real drink. So how about a “figurative” one:

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a handsome man in a suit with a drink.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of a handsome man in a suit with a drink.

Oh, sorry. I just realized. I hope a suit and tie are not too intimidating. Apologies for the lack of sweatpants, “non-American” look. 😉

So that’s three novels, and that had become my “project” aim – complete the three within three years. For any of you who have been around for a while, I thank you for tolerating my daily goings on here. This platform enabling me to think “out loud” has been extremely useful to me along the way.

Enjoy your Sunday. 🙂

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