Monday, May 24, 2010

Sweet Sorrow


"Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow." Shakespeare's classic line from Romeo and Juliet really struck home with me yesterday.
You see, I finished a short novel destined (hopefully) for Ellora's Cave. But as I typed the epilogue a familiar sadness gripped me. I stopped writing to explore the problem. Then I realized what it was - my time with characters I love was nearing an end. And like good friends, it's tough to say goodbye. Yet as most writers will agree, there's almost a euphoria when you reach the end of a manuscript. The task is complete.
But I gotta say - the timing was just perfect. I finished writing in the afternoon. Then I made dinner, hung out with DH and the kids and made a couple phone calls. When I returned to my computer I found a letter from my editor with edits for my upcoming novella, Horsing Around. Once I receive edits, I do nothing else. Luckily for me, the changes were so small, I had the entire thing sent back to my editor less than two hours after I opened the file.
So even though I hated to part with my characters, I know it's time to cast them out into the ocean of submissions (or the Rejectosphere as Cara calls it;-).
What about you? Do you hate it or love it when you finish writing (or reading) a book? Or both, like me?

14 comments:

Michelle Polaris said...

I'm with you Wynter. I both hate it and love it. Sometimes I'm deflated because I've spent so much time with characters and think, "What did it amount to? They're leaving me. Sob." I think it's a good thing there is an inbetween time when you're done writing and editing and send the baby out. You can detox and then when your editor sends it back with the fantastic news they love it and you need to edit, it's like a reunion to be able to go back and visit again when you work on that final push. Kind of like coming down from a high in stages. It's all meant to be.

Congrats finishing and congrats on getting through those other edits. It's what we're all about.

Wynter Daniels said...

LOL! I never thought about the reunion part - good point.

Savannah Stuart said...

It's a love hate thing. Right now I'm working on edits for my agent and I'm to the point with this story where I'm leaning more toward hate, lol. Normally I'm like Michelle and I love revisiting my characters for edits but I'm so over my current story and characters. I think I've just spent too much time with them and they're like annoying house guests who won't leave. Almost done though :)

Wynter Daniels said...

I've had those manuscripts, too. The ones that just refuse to rest. I'm sure my crit partners were tired of them as well;-)

Cara McKenna said...

Oh God, I love it. I love finishing the first draft, anyhow, because I love self-edits and revision. Revision means all the hard work is done now I get to revisit the story a couple times (one screen read then a final print read) and put the polish on it, spend a couple days stewing and thinking of nuances that hadn't occured to me. By the time I'm done with revisions, I'm sick to death of those characters and pumped to send it off to the editorial gallows. Then by the time I get edits I'm missing it again, and so it goes.

Right now I'm in the dead-center of a new novella, which is a pretty sweet spot. It's writing the last 75–95% (usually the scenes I've been avoiding) that I hate, the same way I hate the final mile of my morning run. But when I'm done and I get to breathe again? Ah, bliss.

So well done, Wynter! Here's to hoping the Rejectosphere gods smile upon you.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Cara. With Horsing Around, my next release, the edits were so minor, I really didn't get to visit the characters much. Might have to delve in there just for grins!

Kaylea Cross said...

I hear you, Wynter. I had a really tough time saying goodbye to my cast of characters for the series I just completed. I figure at some point I can always go back and do a short novella to visit them all again.
I guess the best thing to do is to start working on something else but it's hard! And people that aren't writers just don't get it :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Kaylea - you're so right about non-writers. They think we're a little nutty with all those people running through our heads;-)

Catherine Kean said...

Great post, Wynter! I agree that reaching the end of a book is both a happy and a sad moment. I'm always thrilled when I reach "The End," because it means the project is complete, at least until edits. :) But I do fall in love with my characters, especially my alpha-male heroes, and it's tough to let them go.

Wynter Daniels said...

I agree, Catherine. The heroes are harder to kiss goodbye. Thanks for coming by the chicks.

Jina Bacarr said...

To further quote Shakespeare, this time from Macbeth (regarding finishing writing a story or book): "The deed is done."

Or as it is often written: "I have the done the deed."

Today the Bard might have written: "I done the deed, now let's go to Disneyland."

However you say it, finishing a book is an exhilirating and exhausting experience--a job worth doing so one may "sleep, perchance to dream."

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks for all that Shakespeare - and the modern version! My deed was thankfully way less sinister than Macbeth's;-) Although there was a murder in mine as well.

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Wynter!
I experience that fist-pumping euphoria where I jump up in the air and kick my heels together! I am overjoyed when I finished a manuscript! It's the utter feeling of accomplishment that I actually completed a project...especially when I look back at my not-so-glorious past and see the number of manuscripts I started and didn't finish! LOL!

I do hate saying good-bye to the characters but by then I'm already looking forward to starting a new love affair with another couple! LOL!

Congratulations on finishing the new story, Wynter!!!

Dalton Diaz said...

I'm firmly in the love it category. We never have to say goodbye because their with us forever, and we get to share them! There's nothing quite like receiving a fan letter or a great review where you know the reader really "got" the character(s).