In delirium of finishing novel author forgets to breathe

Saturday, April 18
<Disbelieving silence.> I seem to have finished editing The Underpants Tree.

The Underpants Tree - scribbles loadingReally?

Am I sure?

Have I done everything?

No, I’m not sure, but I’ve run out of edits and corrections to make.

I’ve been over the text several times making smaller and smaller changes, and fewer and fewer notes as I go along. I look at my editing notes and lots of them no longer make sense to me, which means I either fixed the issues or they weren’t issues in the first place.

I’ve run the text through the spell checker in both Pages and Word (both being baffled by much of the vocabulary and correct spelling I’ve used — spell checkers are illiterate, but more of that another time).

So, I seem to have a finished.


Now it’s time to think about the cover.

And have a nice cup of tea.

beer and underpants image loading<Eight hours later, sitting garden with a beer> Crap! I haven’t finished. I forgot to write the epilogue! I forgot to write the whole last chapter! How can a person forget to write the whole last chapter to a novel? Seriously, I need a brain transplant. I need to put down this beer and check myself into a clinic for the hopelessly daft right now.

<Two hours later with wine and a complete draft of the epilogue> Now I really have finished the bugger. Too late for that celebratory cup of tea. Better have another wine.

Sunday, April 19
And so there it is. The Underpants Tree, weighing in at 77,500 words, is about ready to go. The cover art is always time consuming even if it goes well, which it never does, so can I have this out by the end of May?

I’m reasonably pleased with the way this story has turned out. The plot is slightly more involved than King of the Undies World, and was a real treat to write. Many of the characters we saw in KOTUW appear here again with some new ones. We have not one but two apocalypses, an ancient and secret order opposed to the wearing of underwear, a malevolent mega-corporation hell-bent on taking over the world, stoned pigs, and lots and lots of jokes about underpants.

The epilogue references the ending of a famous (form-defining?) and hugely popular 1970s horror novel. I wonder how many readers will spot which one.

King of the Undies World and The Underpants Tree give us a combined total of over 130,000 words of underpants jokes. There must be a Nobel in that somewhere, surely.

Now on with the wine — I mean the cover art.

About chrispagefiction

Author of the novels Another Perfect Day in ****ing Paradise, Sanctioned, Weed, King of the Undies World, The Underpants Tree, and the story collection Un-Tall Tales. Editor, freelance writer, occasional cartoonist, graphic designer, and all that stuff. At heart he is a London person, but the rest of his body is in long-term exile in Osaka, Japan.
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