Writing

13 months

Yesterday I completed my final edit of Altitude. I made my last few small changes and stepped away from the book, declaring it finished. This is always a bittersweet moment for any author, it’s exciting to finally finish your novel, to put it to bed and move on to the next project, but it’s also a sad moment when you walk away from the playground that has been your metal home for an age. You cheer at your achievement, but you worry that it’s no good, that you could make it better, that you should give it just one more read through…

There’s that famous saying┬áby Leonardo da Vinci: “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” It’s so true. We’re never fully happy with our work, we just run out of time, or enthusiasm and step away. Or we tinker until the project rots.

Looking back over Altitude I realised that, even though it feels like I’ve been working on it for ages, it’s been just over a year from start to finish: 13 months, give or take a week. The idea dates further back, maybe another year, but I started jotting down my initial ideas in June 2016. That first file contains a rough synopsis, which I’m surprised to discover is very close to the finished book. I wrote the first draft over the summer, finishing it in mid September 2016. The rest of the time between now and then has been taken up with editing and re-writes, although I’ve also been working on other projects at the same time.

Now the book is done and out of my hands, ready for readers to discover in just over a week’s time. It’s the fastest project I’ve done so far, and that’s probably because it’s my first venture into self-publishing. I’ve not turned my back on traditional publishing, I just wanted to give this a go. The faster timeline is very appealing. Sorrowline took three and a half years from that first page to publication. Timesmith was about the same. It’s a long time to live with a project. 13 months is like travelling at light-speed in comparison! I like the challenge of the quick turn-around. The question is, can I do it faster? It seems the key to a prosperous career as a novelist is productivity – the reader wants the next book NOW, not in a year’s time. So, I’m about to start on my next project and see if I can get it out there this side of Christmas. Watch this space…

Click here to pre-order Altitude from Amazon now!

Niel

Writer & Artist based in the North East of England.

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