Link here to www.jasongoodwin.net.
You know your book’s done when those two words appear at the bottom of the page.
Triumph – or disaster?
I can’t tell. Sometimes I think that finishing a book is the literary equivalent of a one-night stand: breakfast is yet to come. That’s when you get to see your work in proof – the whole book set in type, like a real book. That’s often when you realise if a section of dialogue is flat, a description jars the pace of the narrative, or the story is moving too fast.
That’s when you feel like a sculptor, too, working happily on clay. It’s still yours to shape.
In The Bellini Card Yashim’s old friend Palewski, Polish Ambassador to the Sublime Porte (the Ottoman Court) is sent to Venice to track down a lost painting of Mehmed II.
I examine the proofs and I wonder – does Yashim enter this story the way I want? It’s clear, on this printed page: yes, it works. It makes me smile.
Just a few others have read The Bellini Card. And they smiled, too.