Scribbling changes in the margins

[E]ven after living with [my first novel] for seven years I was still scribbling changes in the margins up to the very last minute of my very last deadline. I make changes still, in fact, every time I open the book. As Ben Marcus said, “It’s not entirely clear to me why publishing this book means I should stop working on it.”

Maybe we’re slow to finish our books because we can’t part with them. Truman Capote said, “Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.”

Valerie Laken