“Let’s go for a walk!” I said, and fairly skipped down the street. He was hard pressed to keep up with me.
Self-doubt pushes in. What if the reader doesn’t get it? Have I been overly dramatic? Is that romantic scene too sappy? Maybe I haven’t gone deeply enough into my characters. I know what I meant to convey, but what if I haven’t succeeded? Does that soliloquy near the end fit? I wrote it when I was struggling with the silence of God, but maybe it doesn’t work for Colin.
Relax. It won’t be in bookstores next week. There is still time to grow.
The next stage is to send the manuscript to my agent and to several critical readers for suggestions on how I can strengthen it. Then I will take their ideas, along with all my second thoughts and the perspective that comes with time away from the manuscript, and revise and revise again. I love revisions. The story just gets better and better. What has been in my mind for literally years gets fleshed out and becomes more and more real. Once I have a contract, the publisher will probably ask for even more revision. They may even change the title, which is why The Empty Cup is referred to as the “working title.”
Don’t expect to get The Empty Cup for Christmas this year. Even if I signed a contract today, it could be as much as two years before the book is available in stores. Publishing is a long process. Writers don’t see the results of their efforts until long after they have put in the creative work. But oh the joy when it works!
To quote a recent movie and an old TV show, “I love it when a plan comes together.”