I recently posted my final submission for the online Faber Academy Write a Novel course I started last September. It wasn't due until the end of the month but as I will be travelling for the next few weeks I thought I should bite the bullet. As soon as I'd done it I almost wished I hadn't because I could see so many ways I could improve it. I wonder if we ever know when a manuscript is truly 'finished'?
The aim of the "Write a Novel" course is to help writers through the first 15,000 words of a novel. For me, the most valuable input has been from my fellow cohorts on the course: we post our work and critique it for one another. It is uplifting to know you are not alone when you are scribbling away in a basement or attic (or a war zone or in a room filled with noisy children as two of my cohorts were). There are few better feelings that the those days when the words just flow out of you but, there is always a supportive community to chivvy you along on the days when things aren't going so well. I got to know some talented writers and have been enriched and improved by the feedback I've been given.
So (subject to some editing) I've written the first 15,000 words of my novel ....only about 75,000 to go!