The line edits are done, the scenes are rewritten, and I've searched out my adverbs and words I use too much. Now I'm going over one last time, finding places where I can tighten up phrasing and break up long paragraphs to help with pacing.
And then, copy editing.
My brain feels empty.
I've had this feeling before. The first time I finished the novel - by which I mean the first time that I wrote the ending - my brain was quiet for almost a week. It was so peaceful. No characters poking at me, no scenes to figure out. Just...quiet.
This time it's less peaceful. It's more like being numb, like I've powered down. I write a lot more than I did back then, so I've gotten used to all the action in my head. Sort of like when you go to the dentist. Even when you aren't using your lip for anything, you know it's there; you miss it when it's numb. You can't help noticing it, even though when you can actually feel it, you don't notice it at all.
Of course, as soon as I start taking notes for Ashes of Empire (the Constantinople storyline), I know my brain will tingle painfully back to life. I'm just putting that off for a few days while I finish the read-through, to keep my head in the game.
Man, I'm looking forward to that though. I'm dying to do something totally new. I think I'm more excited about starting a new project than I am about finally putting Scent and Shadow to bed after over thirteen years.
I love this job.