Since last August, the characters of my novel have been insistently intruding into my thoughts, clamoring for attention – demanding that their story be told. Piece by piece, their world was created by my words. Even when the first draft was completed, there were parts that did not exactly fit, and a varying combination of comments describing necessary changes filled the margins. Scenes and characters continually leaked out of the growing bubble of the story and into my mind, an incessant reminder that their world – the bubble of their story – was incomplete.
How do I know the moment has come to print my novel for the first time? Because that bubble is whole. All the pieces have been created and seamlessly assembled, and the world of these characters is now encompassed inside. The characters and the story will continue to be there, to be revisited and enjoyed, but they no longer spill out through unfilled pieces. In a way, I miss them. Still, that sense of completion for this particular story is incredibly gratifying.
This is not to say that the novel is in its absolutely perfect form, but that the changes from here on out will be superficial and, in a sense, cosmetic. It appears, then, that I have reached the next stage of my journey on this winding path to publication.