I've finished my novel. What now?

Last week I finished my manuscript, Wherever You Go. My write-a-novel dream has come true. So what’s next?

Some say, print it out and leave it for a while. I’m three-quarters through the first polish, checking for things like timing … so will I print it and put it away for a few weeks? Kind of. My next step is to send my manuscript to three wonderful beta readers for their feedback.

Just thinking about that makes me shiver. Self-Doubt hovers closely when a writer’s finger is poised above the send button. It asks questions like: “What if they don’t like it?”, “What if they think it sucks?” and … horror of horrors, “What if there’s a spelling mistake my Perfectionist Self missed?”

One of my beta readers is my critique partner, Maureen Eppen. So far her feedback has been wonderful … that is, she loves Wherever You Go. She’s cried and laughed and asked for more. But still … she’s only read half way through.

I guess I’m going to have to, in teenage-speak, “suck it up”. Be brave and wait.


In the meantime, I’m going to start working on a synopsis. I don’t know any writer who loves writing them (though there is always the chance someone will comment and tell me they do – in that case, tell me why and what your secret is).

And then I’m going to prepare a pitch letter to a few selected agents.


It’s an exciting-scary time. But the excitement is winning out for now. In fact, I’m even scribbling notes for another novel, tentatively titled Where is the Love? I’ve created a new Scrivener project and written a few paragraphs (they sounded really good in my head when I was driving but I forgot some bits).

I’ve found my writing wings and now I’m aching to fly. I’m ready to soar.

There’s only one thing. A broken finger does tend to slow things down. I can type slowly, but unfortunately I can’t type for long because my arm starts to burn and my shoulder aches … people keep telling me to slow down!




Picture of Monique Mulligan

Monique Mulligan

0 Responses

  1. Ah Monique what a thrill and a challenge I guess you will be sitting this one out – like you were sitting on ants- You want your beta readers to get back to you – but then self doubt creeps in ( If they reply too quickly did they hate it?) and you don’t want them to get back to you. ( But then if they read too slowly couldn’t they get into it?) Its out of your hands now –
    About the typing have you thought about voice activated typing? I don’t know much about tit but several people use it due to RSI Rebecca Laffar Smith is one, if you need more info- just a thought.

    1. You are so right about wanting to hear back from my beta readers, Sonia. I’m so jumpy! But they are all busy people so I must be patient.

      I have thought about voice-activated typing but I’m managing for the moment. Just need to take breaks.

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