Monday 10 June 2019

Writing The End - The Creative Process


I've wanted to do a piece on this for a while. It's simply been that I've never gotten a space in the writing ideas at the same times as I'm close to, or have recently finished something. I plan to go into what comes after the end next week, but for now I'm focusing on the actual act of finishing the book and getting that lovely rush that you finally managed to write a whole story from beginning to end.

A lot of people talk about how hard it is to write a book, and they're right. It's not an easy task. It's not something that just anyone can do. I mean a lot of people try and they never quite manage to get from beginning to middle to end. The amount of time it takes doesn't matter. I've written first drafts in everything from 10 days to 16 years. So it can take a while, and I'm known for saying that it does take as long as it takes and that's okay.

But you've finally gotten to that point where you've tied up your loose ends, you've delivered on your climax, you've decided who's going to go on to do what and you've written those words. Now I personally stick to four hashtags as the mark the book is finished, but a lot of writers will use those two works as their sign off. And it can be a massive adrenaline rush to finally reach that point. It's not the end of the work by a long stretch, but it signifies something that a lot of people will never do in their lives: finish a book.

So what can you do to celebrate? It might seem silly to celebrate when, like I said, you still have a ton of work ahead of you, but I feel like it's worth treating yourself to a mini party if nothing else. Usually when I finish a first draft, my friends will cheer with me, and we'll have something nice for dessert after dinner, but it doesn't go beyond that. It's enough for me to acknowledge the work I've done, the work ahead of me and that I've made it this far.

When it comes to bigger things like releases, that's when the big celebrations happen, but for me recently I've finished a series which took me over two years from start to finish. The first book of which comes out in 2020. Finishing a series, or a trilogy, any set of books that has been a lot more work than just the normal standalone brings with it. There's the making sure that all the threads go through each book and join up at the end. The character growth that needs to happen so that the people we meet at the start of book one grow by the end of the final book. It's a lot to track and a lot of work, and ending a series can be both exhilarating and bitter sweet at the same time.

I say this, not just because it's something I've done recently, but also because I'm in the process of publishing the final book in the Dying Thoughts series. A series that took me nearly 15 years from start to finish and even then has taken even longer to get it ready to send out into the world. And now that it's finally here, and it's almost done, it feels a little wrong to be finally saying goodbye to Tara for good. She's been a part of my writing world for so long that closing the door and allowing her to have her adventures without me feels off somehow. But yet I do see it as a great achievement as I should.

The long and short of it is, there's nothing quite like finishing a book, whether that's the first draft of the revision process, or the editing process or even the final steps towards publication, it's a rush that can fill me up for days. So if you're nearing the end, just remember to buckle down and keep writing, you will get there!

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