I started on my first novel a little more than a decade ago, in part to deal with my gloom at returning to the UK as winter approached after a 12-year working holiday in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Three novels later, I’ve learned at least two things:
- ‘Writing’ a novel consists mainly of re-writing
- ‘Finished’ is a word to avoid, if at all possible.
After many joyful, utterly unfounded ‘Finished!’s, I finally understand the alluring power of this deceptively simple word. However… Barring 3am realisations of plot discrepancies and the like, my most-recently-worked-on novel Ghosts of Chechnya is fast approaching that state of being – dare I utter the word? – ‘Finished’.