I’m writing a novella for my old publisher, Kensington. I finished my first draft last week, printed it and read through it.
The first 32 pages had to be thrown out, re-plotted and rewritten. Right now I am on a really tight schedule and I can’t afford the time. On top of that, I’m having Thanksgiving at my house and people are expecting food.
I’m told that Granola bars on paper plates are unacceptable…whatever.
So the last few days I’ve been alternating between cleaning, plotting, tormenting my awesome friends for help, and writing, writing, writing.
The thing that aggravates me the most is that I made an amateur mistake. In those 32 pages, most of it is back story and set up. I KNOW better than this. I’ve written a lot of books and I know better. My friend, Laura Wright, who was the first to work with me on this book TOLD me in a very nice and professional way.
Yet I still screwed up. I still didn’t “get it” until I finished the novella and read it through.
In addition to this, I have a 480 page manuscript for the third Wing Slayer Hunter book sitting on my desk that needs a pretty significant revision. My editor and I talked it over, and she had some fantastic input, including removing a significant plot thread.
I also need to revise a synopsis for the following book then write that book.
In spite of all that work, in spite of pressure, I can’t send off work that’s unacceptable to me. I. Just. Can’t. So I’m taking the time, and you know what? Now that I’ve changed the beginning, the whole novella is much clearer to me and I can’t type fast enough to get it all down. It’s working much better, moving faster and I’m confident I’ll get it fixed and in acceptable shape.
What’s my point? I have a couple actually:
1) Even though I strive to be professional and treat my work as business, writing is still a creative endeavor. The story takes as long as it takes to develop into a book. It’s frustrating and irritating, but it just is. So I will deal with it.
2) I still make amateur mistakes.
3) I should listen to my critique partners!
4) I don’t know how I’d survive this business without my friends.
But I’m still ticked off at myself for not doing this right the first time through. My sister swears it’s because I’m a perfectionist but that’s obviously not true. If I was a perfectionist, I’d have gotten it right the first time…right??? Come on, you know you want to agree with me that I’m right and my sister is wrong!
Hope all of you have a great Thanksgiving!