It’s been all music all the time around here lately, so I thought I’d get back to the reason I started this blog in the first place: writing.
I was doing well with my novel, I’m Only Me. I was cleaning it up to a blinding shine. It got to the point where I was actually proud to say I wrote it. Then, something happened.
People happened. Opinions happened. Overactive brain happened.
I was fine living in my bubble of denial, floating along, thinking Tyler made sense and Lily was rational and everything that needed to take place, took place. Unfortunately, that’s not quite the case. Not entirely.
On the one hand, I am furious. I am beat down. I am exhausted. I am in shock. Know why? Finally, after years of edits and tedious nit-picking, I had made enough progress with my novel to start querying, which I have. And that’s all fantastic. Was fantastic. And now I have things to fix. And add. And mold. And ugh! Just ugh! Here’s the thing: I wouldn’t change things just because someone told me to. I’m mad because they’re right! I’m mad because I’ve finally accepted that I have to fix things I always knew I had to fix but never wanted to. Grr.
On the other hand, I’m so thankful that there are actual living people with the ability to read and think, who chose my novel to read and provide feedback. It’s humbling in many ways. If not for these people–Shout Out, People! You know who you are.–I’m Only Me would still have glaring problems that I chose to overlook simply because I didn’t want to deal with them, or because I didn’t see them as problems, or because I was hoping it didn’t matter.
Instead of moving forward, I’m heading back to the start, which sort of makes me want to vomit all over my keyboard and screen. I know it’s for the best, even though it annoys me in ways I didn’t think I could be annoyed. I was supposed to be querying myself to death last month, and this one (and the next one), but now I’m making some changes. Whether or not these changes affect the query letter itself, I’m not sure. It’s been awhile since I’ve read that thing. It will most definitely affect the word count, but I’m hoping I can still keep it around 99k, or at least under 100k. Over 100k is a death sentence for this genre.
Although in my head this is quite an undertaking, I don’t think it will take as long as my last set of revisions did. God. I just can’t let myself agonize over every word. What I really hate though is that the manuscript could use a beta read after these changes, which will add even more time. I’m going to be fifty by the time I call this thing finished. But I don’t want to go and change/add a bunch and not have anyone read it, you know? I swear, it’s never-ending. Never. Ending. It’s a good thing I like my characters.
I’ve actually already started messing with things, because I had this strange urge to get started. Usually, if I have something so daunting ahead of me, I’ll do anything to avoid it. Even dishes and laundry. So I’ve added a new character, deleted a scene (wow, that was hard!), weaved a thread through more of the novel than just the ending, and I’m contemplating messing with the timeline, but that will be a huge change I’m dreading. I hope I can talk myself out of that one.
The timing of this change really sucks too. There was a Twitter pitch event yesterday that I wanted to participate in, but I knew I shouldn’t. I’ll try the next one.
I’ve read over and over again that you should throw out your first attempt at a novel because it’s no good. I agree with part of that. My first draft wasn’t that good. I never would’ve said so then, but I can now. However, I don’t agree about throwing it away. I have worked too hard on this, and for far too long, to toss it aside. I will finish it. I will. I have to.
My Query Journey page will be at a stand-still for a while because of this. But I’m really going to focus and push myself to get this thing out there and ready again.
I’ll keep you posted.