I have recently finished my first draft to my fourth fiction book. Exciting, yes? I have been working on this story for what seems like a very long time. I started ‘writing’ it before I had actually sat down at the laptop. The idea came when I was just beginning to compile The Days of Eliora , so I have lived with it for a long time.
I was excited! I was excited because I had finally got all the story down and I had reached the end … but had I?
I don’t know if you have read my first book The Times of Kerim … if you have you may agree with me that colours feature throughout the book and are very significant in the end. I, however, decided that “and then there was a rainbow” would be enough to finish the story. I sent the manuscript off to my lovely editor who promptly told me not to be so lazy … he was right. What you now read is not a single paragraph but an entire chapter dedicated to the colours on display. I know that the ending is essential to the whole story, but have I learnt my lesson? Apparently not!
So, I have recently finished my first draft of The Compassion Gift and I did it again. I read through the story as a first edit and got to my final scene … and I was disappointed with how I finished it! I know the characters, I know the backstories and how they finish … but I hadn’t really allowed the reader, who would have invested time into the book to enjoy those nuggets. I had stopped because I had run out of steam and I just wanted it to end!
I didn’t do it on purpose, I think I was desperate for it to be done and head off into the new ideas for other stories. Because this is not the first time that I have slipped into this trap, it got me thinking about why the next thing is always so much more appealing or pressing than the thing we are involved with now. Even looking at growing up, it is the next stage, the next school, the next assignment, the next exam, the next date, the next government … being satisfied with where we are is not in our nature. How do we cope with just waiting these days … we pull out our phone or other device and be entertained. There is no enjoyment in waiting.
How do we get out from this rut of jumping into the next thing? I don’t have the definitive answer, but I think gratitude might be one of the keys.
If I am thankful for what I am doing now I get to value it much more highly. If I pause, watch and take note of what is around me I will find that there are so many ‘thankful’ opportunities that could have been missed by rushing on.
But getting back to the “the end” … I have been doing a little bit more to the manuscript and a couple more chapters have emerged. It really is not very honouring to the amount of work that goes into the task of writing a book to be lazy at the last hurdle. I hope that you will grab a copy of the new book, The Compassion Gift when it comes out at the end of the month.
If you haven’t yet read The Compassion Prize, the first book in the Compassion series, you can get it on kindle at a discounted price for a short time. Please use this link!
Watch this space over the next couple of weeks … some sample chapters are heading your way.