Sometimes I think that writing is a bit like marriage; or at least a long term relationship.
At first there is the all consuming buzz. Your new novel is the only thing you can think about, its all consuming and you struggle to pretend to be a fully paid up member of society as you think about your characters, environment and (if you’re writing romance) that all consuming first love scene. It’s a bit like having an affair but without actually committing infidelity.
After a while the first flush of passion wanes a little. It still feels a bit like a guilty secret - especially if you’re doing it on the side of work, family and life etc, but the dazzle is less.
Half way through the first draft and you’re beginning to wonder if its all worth it but you continue anyway - because you believe in the happy ever after.
And then you get to the end of first draft and its like you’re celebrating the engagement party - yes the happy ever after is in the bag.
After a bit of time out you realise that you’ve got to put the hard work in if there is ever going to be a wedding and so in the run up to the wedding (second draft) you’re carving out the bits that work and don’t work to result in the perfect day.
And so at the end of the second draft you think you’re there. Only to realise when you get back from honeymoon that there is still some serious work to be done on your relationship (novel).
Right now I’m likening the next draft to wedding plus children and about ten years. You’ve struggled, you’ve accepted massive change and in effect you should be near to perfection. But there’ll always be things you like, things you don’t like, things you want to change and things you think that if you do change you wonder if you’ll suffer for.
There’s no doubt about it, at this stage the real work is required, and I’m not just talking about the novel!