Well, kind of. I’ve spoken before of how you (or at least I) never really get that moment of glorious satisfaction when you clack out the words THE END on your typewriter, whizz the final sheet from the drum, plonk it on top of the crisp heap of typescript and allow yourself that one cigarette a year.
For one thing, I rarely write stuff properly in sequence. For another, finishing a draft is where some of the most important work begins – the revision. In the case of Half the World I limped over the finish line late last night when I suddenly realised I’d closed up the last gap in the second-to-last chapter, the last one having been written a couple of days before.
I still need to do the most basic revision on the last of four parts, which is where I read each chapter, often for the first time, chop stuff around, cut stuff out, fix basic errors, and generally smooth it all off to the point that it’s at least readable, if not necessarily good. That’ll probably take me most of next week, then the task of really going through and making the whole thing into a coherent, consistent book will happen in February and March.
So there’s a long way to go, a lot of things to add, a lot of things to cut, a lot of laborious filing and polishing and shaping, but it cannot be denied that I now have a complete draft of Half the World. And, what’s more, it’s not even my next book. Half a King is due out in July this year, and is completely finished, Advance Reader Copies going out to writers and reviewers even as we speak. Half the World is due in February 2015. Been a long, long time since I was a book ahead like this. Still, the last book in this trilogy, Half a War, is currently loosely slated for July 2015, which means getting that finished by the end of this year. No rest for the grimdark…