In a flurry of emotion and activity, I have just finished the draft of In Search of Lost Girls. In many ways, it is quite a different book from Boy & Girl, of which it pursues the story. I had not wanted to write a sequel, but the characters ‘forced’ me to write on. Unresolved questions needed to be answered, but I had no idea what those answers would be. It took me right to the last moment to discover how to do what seemed impossible. Only in the final couple of chapters did it become clear how to let Peter and Kate grow and develop into the marvelous people they were destined to be, without the world around them and all its taboos and restrictions crushing them.
It took me nearly ten months to write the draft of In Search of Lost Girls. I began on September 29th 2012 and finished today, July 22nd. Work has sped up recently with me writing over 20’000 words during the last ten days. The whole draft is over 120’000 words long with 52 chapters and an epilogue.
Tomorrow I will celebrate by travelling to Lucerne, to the setting of the final chapters of the novel. A sort of pilgrimage, if you like. Also a chance to check on some minor points that I want to get right. I will take pictures and post some of them here. When you’ve worked so long on a story, plunging into its every detail, it’s hard to let go. The ending was so emotional that I am still under its sway, even now. Maybe going to the scene of those last chapters will help both me and the characters move on. Other books are waiting to be written.
In the coming month I will rework the draft. Unlike those authors that dash off a first draft without ever coming back to edit what they have written, I constantly move backwards and forwards, editing and correcting as I go. With such an approach, there might be a danger of getting stuck and never moving forward. Fortunately, I have such a strong attachment to the characters and the story that they always drive me forward.
Later I will give the novel to a few beta readers and will probably do the final edit some time early next year, so that it is ready for publication.