There we go, another book finished - he says, as if it's something that happens every other week and not the culmination of six of the most intense months writing I've ever managed. And come to think of it, "finished" is a grandiose word for completing a first draft, when there's still four months of second draft and two months of third draft and probably a fair bit of tidying and proofreading and copyediting to deal with, not to mention thanks, dedications, all that stuff.
So - let's start again. That's the first draft of Prince Thief, closing chapter of the Tales of Damasco trilogy, finished. I won't lie, it's been a tough ride writing over 110'000 words around apparently random twelve hour day and night shifts, house renovation and all the other random horror and marvellousness that life insists on throwing at you. I won't even lie and say but hey, it was all worth it, because that kind of statement takes the sort of perspective I don't have right at this minute.
But then, that's what September is for. One whole month with no novel writing; one whole month to let Prince Thief sit, let it settle, figure out what needs to be done. I think at this stage that it's mostly just smoothing a great deal of rough edges and making sure that all the plot strands - of which, in stark contrast to Giant Thief, there are quite a few! - get their due time and tie up properly. Yeah, to my absolute suprise I've gone and written something that's at least a little bit complicated, and so this redraft is going to be quite different from the two I've done before. But that's a good thing, right? I'm glad that Crown Thief is a very different book to Giant Thief, that Prince Thief is different again to either of them; I wouldn't have had it any other way.
In the meantime, while I may not be jumping up and done and necking champagne right now, at least there's a deal of satisfaction with what I've somehow managed to accomplish. Back when I started thinking about the possibility of Giant Thief swelling into a trilogy - back even before that, when I drew close to finishing it and to wondering where the characters would go from there, whether they'd ever get what they wanted, whether Damasco could ever be anything more than a selfish, cowardly asshat - I had some clear ideas of what I'd want out of a conclusion. And I feel like that's the book I've written ... or something that's hopefully a bit better, because I'd like to think I'm a better writer than I was way back then. I mean, in its own right, I feel like Prince Thief is a fun book, with much higher stakes that the first two, a more epic scale, a bigger cast, and perhaps a little bit of something to say for itself.
Okay, forget what I said earlier. It's already feels a little bit worth it.