I am at a juncture in the writing process that I don't read about often -- the point where you've actually written the last words of your novel, you've wrapped up the story and brought home all the characters who are coming home, and you know there are one hundred twelve thousand things wrong with the book. That's something a writer can live with, because it just requires 112,000 fixes. The real killjoy is the doubt, looming like a thick, cold fog, that the whole thing doesn't add up to a weed salad.Read the whole thing. Hallinan gives the only answer there could possibly be ("What this one does is fix the 112,000 things that are wrong") and proceeds to detail exactly how he moves past the unfinished state. I found his reflections immensely heartening, because the first few times I ran into this conundrum it almost cured me of the writing bug. Hallinan's suggestions of keeping a running journal of all the potential speedbumps and methodically going page by page through your finished manuscript are useful. But so is the reminder that this is just something writers will have to deal with. We aren't God. We don't speak stories out of nothing. They take reworking and revision, effort and angst, pain and prodding.
What does a writer in this position do?
(Picture: CC 2008 by ....Tim)