Last night saw me finally compile the novel in Scrivener for import into Word. After nearly 6 months of revision, this feels like a momentous milestone. There’s still some work to do, a couple of continuity things to tie the start and end of novel together and possibly one chapter that might need a rewrite (given one alpha reader’s negative response to it). So that bottle of champagne I bought for when I finish the novel revisions has to wait for a few more days.
Not sure whether the revision process has taught me anything or not. I think future novel revisions will be much quicker but as I’ve said, I had the time to work through the revisions slowly so don’t regret taking as long as I did.
So what do I think? Well I can’t say whether it’ll be a book anyone will want to publish or either a book anyone will like but it is a book that if I was reading it would be one of my favourite fantasy novels of all time. As someone whose inner critic is always saying “you can’t write Faulkner, this isn’t good enough” getting to the stage where I love it has been a long one with many, many rewrites. But it just feels “right” as a novel. There’s a beautiful symmetry going on, a rhythm to the story which I’ve spent a long time mining. And then there’s some fantastic characters that despite pouring what must now be thousands of hours into the book, still manage to entertain and delight me. It’s definitely its own thing which I think counts for a lot these days.
So now I have to do the final bits of tidy up and then it’s off out to more people to read. I’m both excited and scared. There will no doubt be further bouts of revision in this novel’s lifetime but I don’t think any of them will be quite so mammoth as this last bit of revision