Great news! I finished my book. At 11:58 PM on Friday night, I typed the final words of the epilogue, ending an almost fourteen month journey into the life of Milo Slade.
I couldn't be more excited.
I'll be spending this weekend re-reading and revising the manuscript, working in a couple themes that I think can be strengthened a bit, then it will be sent to my agent for her expert opinion.
I'm about to enter a nerve-wracking period of time in my life.
I write for Elysha, my wife. It is her laughter, sighs, tears and nods of approval that I seek more than anyone else in the world, but Taryn has become a close second in this regard. I respect her opinion a great deal and trust her judgment. SOMETHING MISSING is a better story for the hand that she had in helping me to revise it, so if she likes the new book, I will know that it's good.
She, unlike my wife and friends, is not inherently biased.
Therefore, the next week or two will be a bit stressful as I wait to hear her opinion of the new book. She loves SOMETHING MISSING, so part of me worries that my second book will never live up to the first.
I would imagine that many new writers experience this concern.
My loyal band of readers have enjoyed the story a great deal, and about half of them like this second book, which still needs a title, more than the first.
As for me, I'm torn.
The new book is a more complex story, with a greater number of characters and a more complicated plot. It also represents an improvement in my skills as a writer. Character description is much better in this first draft than it was in the first draft of SOMETHING MISSING, and my inexperience and fear of dialogue is now gone. The strategies that I have developed to write effective dialogue have worked well in this new book, which represents a major change from SOMETHING MISSING, which did not rely on dialogue nearly as much to carry the story.
Still, I adore Martin and the unique concept behind SOMETHING MISSING.
Choosing between the two is impossible. I truly love both stories.
Let us just hope that the publishers feel the same.
While I wait, I write. Once my revisions are over, I will begin work on my third book.
I'm very excited about the new story.