The fear and trepidation that comes after the ‘final’ polish, the horror of the realisation that there just isn’t a picture that can truly represent the story – no cover!
—————————- here’s the conversation:
And it’s too short – not enough words.
No, scrap that. The editing process took out all the dross and …
But it’s too short!
Not for this type of story, and the audience it belongs to.
What? It belongs to me, doesn’t it, if I wrote it?
The story is complete, it goes out into the world as a whole being, and it gets to live its own life – the people who read the story, who become part of the story, they’re the ones who own it as they live it – isn’t that what you want?
Well, yeah. I suppose so.
Why are you being tentative about letting go?
Well, ‘cos now I have to … I don’t know. Get a life. Do some work. Catch up with the people I’ve ignored for … too long. Write some shorts. Start again. Oh, but it’s too soon. I can’t let it go out there – we don’t have a cover!
So, let’s find a cover, and in the time it takes to get that done, you can do a re-read to make sure everything still makes sense, that the-
But it’s done! I can’t do any more.
A story is like a garden, there’s always something that could be done – the question is more ‘should’ it be done? We can trim and prune and plant and water and nourish – but when is the time to sit back and let it be, to take the fruits off the tree, to pick the flowers purely for enjoyment, to-
Okay, I get it. I’ll find a cover for it, and I’ll do another read-through.
In that order. Find the cover, work it until you get it right, and only after you’re happy with how it represents the story, then you go back for the final read.
So your mind can focus on something different, while still keeping the ‘world’ of the story in the front of your mind. That means when you do the read-through, you’ve had enough time to forget ‘how’ you read it as a writer, and you can read as a reader would – but more.
Eye-roll. Yeah, whatever.
And I laugh, but that’s the way it is. Agoness is at the stage of needing something to dress her up so she can impress the world. Wait for it. Soon. YA Fantasy.
A bit longer than a novella, and not quite a novel – about 45k words. And my understanding of the ‘naming’ of these things is variable. Sometimes a novella is a word count between 30k and 50k, sometimes it ends at 40k. I’m going to call it an appropriate count for the target audience.