Well, that may be overstating it a bit. However, I've completed the first draft and been through my list of notes that I made as I was going along of things I wanted to check and fix.
The biggest rewrite that came out of my notes was of one of the early chapters and was a bit embarrassing given the name of the book. I'd experimented with telling half the chapter from the perspective of one of the supporting characters rather than the main protagonist, Jemma. It made sense when I wrote it, as was going to do the same later...but never did. It stuck out like a sore thumb, so had to revisit and rewrite. Actually, it works much better now and serves as a good lead-in to some of the themes that I explore later - which I hadn't even thought about at the time.
I've also reviewed the character arcs of a few supporting characters to make sure they're consistent and believable, adding a few tweaks along the way. As I mentioned before, there were a couple of these characters who started off as minor and who took on a life of their own once they'd seen the light of day - one of the reasons why I've enjoyed writing this book so much, it's genuinely been a surprise to me at times.
I've now sent it off to my proof-reader/editor/weekend chef/son, Darren, for his thoughts. I'd expect a few constructive arguments to ensue, followed by my eventual capitulation as he's usually right, resulting in some hopefully minor rewrites.
Then I'll need to decide what to do with it. I expect I'll start off the traditional route and try to find an agent, and go from there. Worse case, I'm all set up ready to self-publish it again. We'll see. Most importantly of all, I've really enjoyed writing it, feel as if I've improved as a writer and storyteller, and generally am pretty proud of it.
I've been taking a break from saying much on my Twitter account for the last couple of months while concentrating on finishing this novel, but that's only been part of the story.
As some of you may know, 2017 was a pretty rough year for me. Struggling with prolonged depression for the first time, I went through a marriage break-up coupled with the realisation I'd stopped enjoying my day job as a software development manager.
I was finding Twitter was a distraction I didn't need at the time, so decided to take a break around the start of this year.
So, having settled into my new house, I decided to leave my job at the end of January to give myself the chance to work out what comes next. I managed to time it perfectly and handed in my resignation on my birthday as a present to myself. I'd like to go on the record and thank my boss and colleagues for their understanding, support and encouragement.
So just over a month later, I've finished the first draft of Perspective, I'm confidently off the anti-depressants, lost half the weight I put on over last year and am generally a lot fitter thanks to the long daily walks and exercise bike. Still a way to go, but looking forward to life again, whatever it brings. That's my next big project, deciding what to do next! Probably some volunteer work in the interim while I ponder the longer term solution.
I'll probably start reappearing on Twitter again shortly though, I've really missed being called a liberal snowflake traitor.
I have some ideas for what comes next on the writing front, whatever happens with Perspective. However, that needs fleshing out a bit more and will be the subject of a separate blog posting.
P.S. That's the last silly Perspective image I'll be using, think I'm over-labouring the point now...