A Matter of Definition

Posted on 20/08/2013 by


So I finished the book last week, as promised.* And I’m now in that annoying, fuzzy in-between time where I wait for a new set of readers to tell me I’m brilliant/an idiot/hilarious/funny in the head/tragically misguided as to my ability to string sentences together.

Arkem: I could… but I have a book to read. Halfway done is not done enough.
Me: Yeah. How can I ask you all my annoying, deeply personal questions if you don’t finish reading it?
Arkem: Why would that stop you?
Me: About this.
Arkem: Oh! My mistake.

I accidentally wound up with six readers this round instead of my usual three, mostly because I was ambushed unawares in the final stages of the draft. But I think it’s a good thing. More is better. Unless the book is horrible.

There is this peculiar war in my brain between the part that wants editorial and the part that says, Yes, and you regret letting people read your unfinished books almost every single time. Which is true. But that’s mostly because I have a terrible, ghastly, horrible tendency to let people read drafts when I know there are problems with the manuscript and I’m already planning on rewriting it. (This is because I am funny in the head. True story.)

Arkem: I put it in a folder with all your other books.
Me: All my other books?
Arkem: Yeah. There’s two versions of Path — the thesis one and the new draft. And Even God is Single
Me: Oh god, why do you even have that?
Arkem: Mostly to bother you.
Me: It bothers me! I’m bothered!**

So far two readers have finished reading*** and I’m waiting for the other four to check in while telling myself that letting them read it was a good thing. That this one’s different. This time I didn’t finish the draft already planning what I was going to do in the next pass. Which I guess means it’s either solidly together or definitively awful.

But I’m not stressing about that (because of course I’m not, why would I?) so all I have to worry about is what to do while I wait.

Rick: More adventures?
Me: Yeah. Or start on the new book. Probably should do agent research. Send queries. Rewrite Path.
Rick: Or take a holiday.
Me: Or that 🙂


* Arkem would like to point out that I actually promised to finish it on Thursday or possibly Friday and I finished on Wednesday, California time and therefore was still lying about it.

** Not least because I’d forgotten it was ever called that. I am horrible at titles and for that reason that book rests in my memory as Prawns in the Headlights and in the annals of my university as There Has to be a Morning After. It also never went past the first draft and one day will be strip-mined for the jokes and sold off for spare parts. I like to pretend nobody even remembers it ever existed.

*** And they liked it. One of them used the word ‘incandescent’. Although that was in reference to one of the main characters. And it may have been meant literally.

Incandescent light bulb on fire with the flame escaping the glass.