I am going to finish this damn book

I have 20 000 words left to write (hit 100K yesterday morning at 6.25am), and I am damn well going to finish the book this week even if it kills me. And it might. I have a virus and have lost my voice (this is irritating, as I can’t rouse at my children and they are incredibly naughty most of the time) and I have a big pile of marking to do at work.

Some people compare writing a novel to giving birth. I usually roll my eyes when this happens, especially when men say it, because unless you’re squeezing a hardcover out your left nostril the comparison is flawed. But this close to the end of the process, there is the same kind of awful momentum, the same irresistible compulsion to get something outside yourself that has been growing within for a long time. I have lost the world; there is only the story. My family talk to me and all I hear is “bwah bwah bwah” like the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons. My brain is finding the ends of threads and pulling them together, tying them, untying them, retying them different ways. I shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

I’m in a scary place for other reasons, too. Five years ago, after I wrote Rosa and the Veil of Gold, I took a sabbatical from writing adult fantasy because I felt I’d said all I had to say in that genre. So I’ve been busy doing young adult books, and children’s books, and Kimberley Freeman books. But now I’m being called. No other way to describe it. I’m not a mystical new-agey pan-flutey person in any way at all. But I am being called, and I’ve got a story waiting just at the edge of my consciousness. I can feel it, but I’m terrified to write it. What if I can’t anymore? What if it’s not a grand idea and just a piece of silly nonsense with shouty characters? What if none of it matters to anyone ever in the history of anything?

I guess I’ll just write it anyway.

10 responses to “I am going to finish this damn book

  1. “What if I can’t anymore?”

    Of course you can! If you couldn’t, those characters, shouty or otherwise, would have taken up residence in someone else’s head.

    Have a well earned rest and recharge in 20k words time, then get that X-Wing out of the swamp using only your mind and typing fingers. It can, nay, *must* be achieved!

  2. Oh God, I hope you write it! I’ve said it before, but I am a Kim Wilkins adult fantasy junkie, and I need a hit. So. Badly. It. Hurts.
    You wouldn’t deny an adict their fix, would you? WOULD YOU?!
    Of course it will be good. It will be good because it will have been written by you.

  3. ‘I guess I’ll just write it anyway.’

    That put a smile on my face. Setbacks and self-doubt mount up and up, but in the end I come to the same conclusion; just write the damn thing. It’s not like my characters are ever going to shut up if I don’t write it.

  4. Ah – it’s so good to hear that someone else is neglecting their family!

    That sounds awful – but I keep beating myself up about the way I tune out the kids’ voices and my husband’s stories. It’s such a relief to know that I’m not the only one fixing scenes in my head when I should be being mum/partner.

    I’ll join you in your 20,000 word challenge, Kim. I have a reading of my new play on Sunday with invited guests – and I need to write at least as much again as I’ve already written.

    (Which is why I’m here, reading your blog instead of writing. Shame!)

  5. I love your adult fantasy books Kim. They are my favourite. Your calling to write another one is a good sign.

  6. I’ve been waiting ages for your next book in this genre. Doesn’t matter if you’re scared at first everyone is when they’re faced with a new exam paper (that’s how I feel anyway).

    I just wish writers write as fast as I read but it’s just my wishful thinking.

    Good luck with this new book I have your full collection – I don’t believe in the library. Especially so if I treasure books in the mint condition I bought them in.

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