Yesterday was a real red-letter day for me because I finally finished my second-ever novel. Gleams of a Remoter World (based on a quote by the poet Shelley) is a ghost story set on the wild west coast of Ireland, and I first started writing it during a holiday in Co. Galway with Dave. The scenery was stunning and there was a ruined church a short walk down the coast that screamed 'ghost story' at me the minute I saw it. I grabbed some paper and a pen and scribbled some notes before we'd even packed up to go home.
But that was, I'm ashamed to admit, the best part of ten years ago. I don't honestly know why it's taken so long to write. I got part way through, lost the will to live and put it in a box. I took it out again and wrote some more. I got hopelessly bogged down with the love interest and put it back in its box. I changed one of the characters from male to female and wrote some more. I got stuck on one particular scene and put it away again. Finally, earlier this year, I unearthed it, found some inspiration from somewhere and finished the actual writing, but then it still needed editing, rewriting and polishing. The whole process has been not just like pulling teeth, but like pulling my own teeth while still awake. Painful, in a word.
But I've got to the finishing line at last (at very. long. last) and I'm absolutely delighted with the result. It topped out at nearly one-and-a-half times the length I'd thought it might and I like the characters, and the way they develop, and I like the ending. (Which isn't always the case with the things I write.)
Now I'm sitting on it for a few more days, just to be absolutely sure I haven't forgotten anything, and then I'll be sending it off to a publisher. I just hope my ten years of hard work won't be wasted!