Aimee Horton

On The End not being The End.


#WriteThinking Writing a Draft

I used to get excited when people would ask me ‘how’s the book going?’

‘Good,’ I’d say. ‘I’m near the end of this draft!’ I’d reply. 

‘When’s it out? Where can I buy it?’ 

‘God knows, I still have edits etc. to go through, and then somebody has to like it and want to publish it.’

And then I get the sympathetic head tilt.

‘Oh, so you’re writing it, and you have no idea if you’re going to be published? That’s a bit risky isn’t it? Can’t you just tell them your idea then write it when you get a deal?’

‘No, so keep your fingers crossed.’  I’ll smile, my bubble deflating. Automatically my brain whirs and I start with the ‘what if nobody wants it?’ and ‘what if it’s actually shit?’ wittling.

I’m not the only one of course. I’m sure most, if not every, author starting out feels like this, and if they don’t they discover it along the way. Writing a book, especially when you’re trying desperately to transition into the more traditional side of things, isn’t just 80 thousand words of wonderfulness and a quick upload to Amazon and overnight success, getting it turned into a film and becoming a millionaire. Sadly for my ‘house in spain’ plans, it’s a lot slower going.

This is – I think – the fifth time I’ve written THE END for this story.

It was an idea I’d binned six years ago, but brought up with my agent. With her encouragement I wrote the first draft. One character for the first half, another for the second. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Except of course, it wasn’t, after some discussion we decided to alternate.

So I did massive restructure. Then some revisions, and and then more. Finally we sent it out for submission, and I started a new story I’d been gagging to write. Then we got some feedback, sadly it wasn’t the six-figure deal including a Netflix series and Claire Danes playing my lead, but it was something I could grab onto and think about. It will help me move my career forward, which I found rather exciting.

Plus, nobody came back with a “HAHAHHAHAHAHA WHAT A BIG PILE OF POO!” like I was dreading, which was, you know, nice.

So, I decided to give it a go, start a fifth draft, which turned out to be a total re-write, and today I wrote THE END for that rewrite, and the feeling of excited exhilaration that I used to feel has been replaced with pleasant relief.

I celebrated with a coffee and a malteser reindeer I’d been hiding on my desk for this moment, and now I’m continuing to celebrate by going all the way back to the beginning, and tweaking all over again.

So, even though The End is still a celebration in itself, it isn’t the actual end, it’s just one step closer.

On Missing The Blog


I think it’s safe to say, I’m not the only person who’s found 2017 a bit of a whirlwind.

Personally it’s been a massive learning curve, one that I’ve enjoyed. YES I may have had a tantrum or two, I may have been filled with self doubt and considered packing it all in and becoming a driver for Domino’s Pizza…but as my husband pointed out, I would be fired for pulling up and stuffing my first delivery into my gob. Hmph.

I’ve redrafted and tweaked, and revised my novel for over a year now, and as I approach the stage where I send it back to my agent with everything crossed, I can’t believe the progress I’ve made. It’s a totally different, but (hopefully) improved book, and for once I feel quite proud of what I’ve achieved.

But saying that, I still feel that I’m missing something when it comes to writing, and after a bit of soul searching I realised I missed updating my blog. I was quite surprised when I discovered this, I mean, how can I miss writing about writing, when in real life, when people ask about it, I get all flustered and embarrassed and feel like a fraud? How can I miss updating you on my #littleloves when I always tell people how boring and dull I am?

Who knows? But I do, so I’m going to make an effort to keep you up-to-date with things…whether you like it or not!

The other thing I realised this year, is how much I love being part of the writing community. Authors are a very supportive bunch, and there was a wonderful thread about empowering women writers started by @myfanwycollins a couple of weeks ago which you can read here …. It made me realise how happy my old #writethinking section on the blog made me. A place for writers at all stages in their careers to write a post and share their thoughts… Which is why I’ve decided to revive it. There are some very exciting new posts coming in the new year, but in the mean time you can check out some older posts here, and if you’re interested in joining in just get in touch.

And with that, now it’s dark outside, I am going to pour myself a sneaky gin and snuggle down with my book.

Happy New Year to you all,

Aimee x