I’ve finished the final edit, the edit known as The last, definitely the last, absolutely the last, spank my bottom and call me Felicity Cholmondly-Fettersham if I lie, totes-finished and Most Final, get it out of here and never let it darken my door more Edit – and I am quietly pleased, having tightened everything up like a surgeon on an ageing starlet and reduced the word count by almost 8,000 words.
I’m currently indulging in a chocolate-bomb coffee, listening to another wonderful Charles Paris Mystery on Radio 4e and resisting the temptation to start dipping in and checking it again – or worse, starting to read it again from the beginning, because I know, if I do, I will spot too many things that still need a Little. Tiny. Tweak…
I mean, I want it to be perfect, of course I do, but I know I can never achieve perfection and trying to achieve it is likely to send me spinning in a dangerous direction that lies perilously close to madness. I can honestly spend 2 hours shifting the commas in a paragraph back and forth, adding a semi colon, taking it away, replacing a comma and starting a new sentence, changing my mind and putting the comma back (I not only can I do this, I do do this with sickening frequency).
“A work of art is never finished. It is merely abandoned.” Thus spoke EM Forster and, as a brilliant writer, one of my favourites, he’s as well qualified as anyone to say it, I just don’t like the word ‘abandoned’, I find it sad and vaguely unsettling. There’s more comfort in saying, it isn’t done, it never will be, but I have cared for it and nurtured it and it’s now about as good as I can stand to make it. Now seems as good a time as any to give it a final cuddle and a kiss on the bum and release it, gently, into the wild.