Having finished “A Question of Time,” the third and final book in the Question trilogy, I sent it to an editor. Not the publisher, because I know I have typos, grammar issues, and plot holes.
Well, I don’t actually know this because obviously if I did I would have fixed them. But I’m fairly certain they exist — I just can’t see them.
No author can proof his or her own work. I think that’s a cosmic law. We just don’t see our own mistakes, which is why an editor is the next logical step on the road to publication.
Even then, I can’t be sure the publisher will accept the complete manuscript. I have read of authors being dropped in the midst of a series and going on to find another publisher or self-publish in order to finish it out. There are no guarantees in this game.
Meanwhile, I’m working on something completely different: a short story. I haven’t written a short story in several years, so this is a change of pace for me. I believe writers should try different disciplines just to keep their minds sharp. For the same reason, I will occasionally write a poem, or an essay.
I was going to say I think of these as practice sessions. But that isn’t quite true, because each story, poem, or essay is complete in itself, not steps toward writing a novel as learning the scales are necessary steps before performing “Fur Elise.”
Or maybe it’s all practice, even that first, second, or 100th novel. Who has written the perfect novel? Hands up, anyone?
As I said, there’s no guarantee we will ever be successful, however we measure success. That doesn’t mean we should give up.
Maybe it isn’t the destination, but the journey after all.