How to finish a big book

By , 1 June 2007 2:28 pm

It has been half term this week, and I have been able to really have a good long go at The Infinite Day. And as I come to the end of the week, I’m able to report that the end is literally in sight. Perhaps another 30 pages to go and lots of notes to work from. However my deadline for manuscript delivery is the last day of July and the fact is that I need to go back to the beginning and tidy up the manuscript. So there is still a lot to be done. If you pray, pray on!

For any would-be writers, I offer a couple of thoughts on this matter of finishing books. The first is that you really do need determination. Writing is hard work, and it’s easy to put it to one side and go for a walk, read a book or surf the web. You have to stick at it.

The second is an odd characteristic; it is ruthlessness. I have a cast of many characters, each of whom have their own foibles, problems and concerns. The temptation to pursue all of these fascinating characters and try to deal with their individual fates has to be resisted. If you’re not careful, you end up creating an infinite world, which of course, requires a book of infinite length. So I have had to curtail all sorts of fascinating matter which has to become the literary equivalent of ‘the road not travelled’. Readers will just have to use their own imaginations to decide what X said to Y after three months absence or what exactly lies behind the terse comment on some minor character ‘he was killed on the battlefield’. (I made that up, but you know what I mean.)

Anyway I must press on and get back to the book. Even blogs can be a diversion.

Have a good week.

3 Responses to “How to finish a big book”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I do hope that that does not mean that Lloyd ends up dying…he is such a delight in the book! He compliments the other characters so well.

  2. Terry says:

    Chris,

    I am most interested to hear that The Infinite Day is nearing completion. So here is the literary equivalent of the old energetic cheer from the sidelines. “You can do it! Almost there! Dig deep! Way to go!”

    I know I speak for many when I say that I’ve been greatly anticipating the finale, and yes, I can see that there are innumerable bunny trails that could legitimately be explored. In a way, it’s too bad that they can’t be. Maybe a series of books following the adventures of various characters might be in order. Something along the lines of Thornton W. Burgess’ series on the animals of the forest years ago. “Reddy Fox Goes On A Trip”, and “Peter Rabbit Makes A Discovery.” Ahh, the memories…

    God bless, Chris. I hope that this book, and the ending of it, is a blessing to you, and an encouragement to continue writing. I look forward to more from you.

  3. Jeff says:

    I concur with terry. I am waiting in eager anticipation for the conclusion. When I read the previous installments, it brought much joy to know there is solid, Biblically based, Christian novels out that that actually enthrall and draw the reader in and are not fluff. It was a great pleasure to read them through tempered only by the fact that I would now have to wait for the conclusion.

    Thanks also for the time and effort you spend in writing your blog. It has been fascinating to read a bit about your writing and thought processes as you finish the book.

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