Thursday, August 24, 2006

Susie crows: I'm done!

I'm done, I'm done, I'm done!

I sent off the book I was writing Tuesday night, all 515 pages of it.

It's not the longest book I've ever written. That honor belongs to my second, TRAITOROUS HEARTS, which clocked in at a whopping 520. But hey, those were the days before publishers starting fussing about paper costs, and it takes a lot of pages to birth a country.

But this is the longest I've done in a decade. With most of the romances, I aimed for 400 and ended up around 450. Only three times I have I kept it down where I was supposed to be, and one of those was the first so that doesn't count.

I knew going in this one was going to be long. Because it's - shh! - not a romance. And boy, that was strange. Exciting, creatively challenging, and very good for me, but weird. I had my rhythm in romance; I knew what I was doing, and had an instinctive feel for what to include and when things needed to happen.

With this, I felt like I was learning to dance all over again.

It's also the first time I was allowed to submit by email. It saved me a lot of time, a lot of hassle, and a fair amount of money.

But the rush wasn't quite the same. There used to be a constant adrenaline build, from sitting there impatiently while my printer cranked away; in admiring that huge stack of pristine, beautiful white pages and thinking "I wrote all that!"; in risking a speeding ticket on my way to FedEX before careening into the parking lot with only a few minutes to spare.

Pushing "send" just doesn't quite do it.

But still and all, typing THE END is one of the great thrills of life. The only thing I can compare it to is when, after hours of painful labor, you FINALLY push that baby out.

What are your "moments?" When you feel that amazing sense of accomplishment and relief?



Kathleen Eagle said...

Hooray for Susie! There's nothing quite like getting it in. (I don't know about the other "getting it in", but I do know the getter-iner's perspective on this getting it in, and this is big.)

I'll bite, Susie. (Note the comma.) You say this isn't a romance. So what is it?

Betina Krahn said...

Congrats, Susie!

I understand the sense of anti-climax without the stack of lovely paper. . . there's just something about see that manuscript in physical form that is very satisfying.

So satisfying, that I'd say it's one of my favorite moments in life. . . staring down at a finished manuscript. Second, of course, to the euphoria I felt after giving birth to the boys! That was the all-time chart topper.

So, are you going to be around for Happy Hour?

Susan Kay Law said...

What is it, Kathy? Hmm. I believe the current plan is simply to put fiction on the spine.

"Pissed Off Forty-something Lit" probably sums it up best.


anne said...

pissed off is always good. can't go wrong with pissed off.

congratulations on getting it done, susie!

Helen Brenna said...

Way to go Susie. We should do a "Cheers" during Happy Hour!!

Kids, first. Books, second. And I agree pushing the send button to my agent doesn't compare to seeing that complete ms.