I've attacked my grammar, my weak verbs, my -ly adjectives. I've tried to stop forming amateur sentences that abuse the word 'as'. I've caught my dangling participles and pulled them back from the ledge.
So, cool. I'm done. Time to query and start working on my next novel. And some short stories. Maybe play with another genre on the side. Right?
Noooooooooooo. Ladies and germs, I have finally decided to stop living in denial. It's not time to move onto the next project, because that would be BAD.
You think you're done when you type 'The End' and do your spell checks and grammar checks and a couple read throughs, but I've found out the hard way that it isn't the end. The irresponsible thing is actually to move on to the next big thing, turns out. Which sucks, because... *points at notebooks full of Janie fic notes*. Really wanted to get that put into the doc. But Drew is still in need of work.
It's revision time, baby.
Yeah, I hate the thought of revision. But I found out something. When you sit back, read through what you have while leaving the easily-wounded ego behind, you discover something a little depressing.
You're not as good an author as you think you are. If you read through and think 'hey, this is killer. I can't improve on my original idea,' you're screwed.
I had my eyes opened this weekend at Pennwriters. I got to sit down with someone in the business and discuss my story, hearing what an agent is actually looking for, and guess what? They're not interested in your grand vision. They want what sells. And your vision doesn't quite fit with what sells.
This could be the part where you start arguing that you have artistic integrity. That someone will understand what you're trying to say, and stay true to your story because they respect the goals you wanted to accomplish when you first sat down in front of your laptop and started pounding out that plot bunny that was lurking in your brain. That you won't compromise.
The rough translation of that? See ya on createspace, because that's what you're destined for if you stay on that path of logic. And I really don't want to be banished to createspace.
Sooooo, yeah. That means revision. Now it's time to sit down, start poring through the story and seeing how I can take things up to the next level. More conflict, better conflict, conflict that makes the resolution more satisfying. Drew could be a little more of a screw up. Kris could be a little more dissatisfied with life. Nick could be a little more cranky.
Okay, that's not exactly what I'm going to be looking for, but it's the general idea.
I think what's hampered me, in a way, is that I'm used to people understanding my writing style. It's easy to rely on the notion that people will get what I'm trying to say because they know how I handle the kinds of situations I'm writing. Which is great, because it's nice to know I have people who can just jump on board and sit back and watch where I go. But I'm trying to appeal to people who don't know me or my style. I can't rely on my comfort zone anymore. Now I have to bring out the pin, pop the bubble, and start aiming for a whole new crowd. People who don't forgive typos, shaky concepts, and OOC moments. *insert whiny sound here*
I don't have a completed novel. I have a couple completed steps. Time to move on to the next step now. *breathes deep* *exhales* *has seizure*
It's annoying having to accept reality. I was all set to start querying again, and it's just not time for that yet. Thing is, it's just the natural progression of the writing process, yet I still feel like it's almost a setback. Maybe it's because I'm a naturally impatient person. I want results and I want them NOW. But if I'm sitting around slamming agents with queries for a product that isn't quite ready yet, all I'm doing is burning bridge after bridge after bridge after bridge. Bridges that won't be rebuilt. Those puppies are gone once they're destroyed. Luckily, I've only set a small handful of fires, and have plenty of options left once I get back on that track.
Until then, time to find the zen and start getting back to work. See ya on the other side!