Saturday, August 3, 2013

First Novel Woes

Game of ThronesI am currently living in coffee shops as I complete my mad dash to an Alpha manuscript. Two days and 5,000 words running on pure fear, adrenaline, and crushing self doubt.

The past two weeks I've been cleaning the manuscript of overused words and cutting off redundancies. Those are things I like to do, because it's mostly mechanical. I put the manuscript in the editor and the bad stuff shows up in red. Easy. Now I'm plugging up holes, literal holes in the story. Places I skipped over so I can finish the good parts of the chapters. They are there and are numerous.

An easy out is delaying the manuscript from my alpha readers for "a few more days", which is tempting. Really tempting. Super tempting, but it is ultimately backwards and only hinders my progress in getting this thing published. It can look nice, I can give it a look over and smile upon my work. The real problems will be there however. The type of problems a fresh pair of eyes have to tell me.

The real fear is "a few more days" can run indefinitely. It's a terrifying experience to have other people read your work. Double that when their job is to find the issues. They're on a mission, which is to operate your manuscript like a they are playing Operation.  My Alpha Readers are also published authors where this is not their first rodeo. I'm brand new and dumb at what I do. My inner alarm is on siren mode.

This debut novel also has some personal troubles associated with it. Its lifespan is a year and a half at this moment; roughly. I was a different person a few weeks ago, let alone a year and a half ago! There are certain aspects to the novel that feel juvenile. Juvenile in the sense that when I started out, I wanted to prove myself as someone who can make it. A writer who can illicit the proper emotions and can tackle formidable subject matter. Today I'm someone who knows the type of topics and moods I want to cover, and this novel is a little far in what I want to do.

I get it, it's an experience. The whole routine is recent and I'm trying to find my footing. I hope that my freshman effort is received well. That will be an update for another time. Have to keep my word count to this project only!