In the serialised draft of my first novel (first, and only😉), there are 65,000 words. A bit light for a novel by most measures. That said, there are 199,000 words in the “discarded scenes” folder.

It’s done. The last scene went out to paying members last week. I’m writing this post literally moments after having scheduled the last scene's publication.

Being entirely subjective, it’s awful. I hate the way I ended it. The start was awful. And the middle? Don’t talk to me about the middle. I’m told that such a view is entirely normal and not something that should trouble me unduly.

Of course, I can’t be truly objective about my own writing, probably ever, but certainly not now, having just crossed some type of finish line. However, having dripped the story out scene by scene, I did discover many areas ripe for improvement, both through the activity itself, and through the generous critiques from several members. Mostly, readers say nothing, or occasionally murmur something encouraging. This is demonstrative of the kindness and generosity of the readers here, rather than than the quality of the work.

Firstly, I’d like to thank everyone who has read any of it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Secondly, I’d encourage anyone who has anything to say about it, to do so. If you’re in the Slack, tell me there, or drop me an e-mail. Please, do not feel that you need to be gentle, or constructive. I’m armour-plated, and having read all the books and attended all the courses, I’m now entirely divorced from the work. You will not be more critical of it than I. (The divorce bit is not true, but I’m a rufty-tufty. I can take it.)

As the serialisation continued, the plot and its central players evolved. None of them is who I thought they were. To some extent, I will need to amend their beginnings to match their ends. Pacing. I found myself dropping off in parts of the narrative, and cut liberally. Perhaps too liberally. I may even have cut the wrong bits out. I’m going to take a couple of weeks off, the dive back in and edit / rewrite. Fear not, I’m not going to serialise it again, I’m going to produce a new draft that will be edited, polished and published. A line will be drawn beneath Sean 1, a title chosen and we’ll all move on.