More Revision…

Feedback has been received from the editor who I asked (paid) to look at my work. And it isn’t bad. But it is clear that there is still much to be done. And somehow, I’m much less excited to do it at this point.

I had a love story… a paranormal romance. And I thought that there wasn’t enough going on, so I turned it into an adventure, with many more supernatural elements, action and even a bit of time travel. And she suggested that it ought to be one or the other, but that it shouldn’t be both. And I feel deflated. And kind of silly. And like not a very good writer.

The good news I think, is that she didn’t mention huge issues with things like sentence structure, word choice or punctuation. But I’m a tech writer in “real life” so I didn’t really expect that those were going to be my issues.

A part of me wants to shove the whole thing. It’s not shiny and new and fun anymore and now it seems like some serious decisions about it have to be made and everything will have to be redone. I had been floating on the relief that came with being “finished” in some way. And now I am very unfinished.

And I’m starting to see the side of writing that daunts those who try it. I am seeing clearly why most novels (at least before self-publishing) never saw the light of day. What a process.

The most concerning element of her critique is that perhaps I haven’t hit my intended audience. One aspect of the story, she says — the love story — skews to the YA crowd I’d been planning for. The other — the adventure — she thinks skews younger. Though I think there are great books for middle grade out there, I’ve never wanted to write one. So I’ll have to think a lot about this… She did also mention at the outset that YA is not her expertise, but her comments on plot and structure are certainly valid and based on years of experience in editing and writing.

Back to the keyboard. Ugh.

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3 thoughts on “More Revision…

  1. Hi Delancey, this is odd because a friend and I were just having a conversation about the very phase you’re going through. This is what I said to him:

    “I’ve been through the process of beating the resistance and attaining ‘the rapture’ and yes, it works. Your routine becomes tighter than you ever imagined it could be, your dreams are consistently vivid, you sleep better and ideas spring out at you all through the day. It’s as if the sludge of your subconscious has suddenly formed into a machine that’s closer to the surface, or maybe you’ve just moved back into it…maybe both.

    Eventually you hit periods of doubt where you think that what you’ve written is awful and you wonder why you’re wasting time. These are essential to your success. The trick is to reflect rather than abandon. Suddenly you stop being a confident writer and become a harsh reader. Stop writing and use the self-criticism to objectively strip out all the lazy stuff that’s found its way in there. If I hadn’t had all of those, From The Storm would be a completely different book and I probably wouldn’t have published it.

    It just knocks the wind out of your sails for a while. But never give up!”

    Also, I don’t think you should be writing for an audience. I know that’s not a popular opinion, but my view is that you have the best chance of writing your best work if you just focus on the story you want to tell.

    Hope that helps a little. You asked me a while back if you’d like me to look at your work. Still happy to if you can stand another objective view. Let me know.

  2. I have zero experience in this :), but what came to my mind reading your post is that maybe you should ask for a second opinion regarding the fact that your novel is hitting or not the intended audience, this time from an editor whose expertise is the YA. The way I see it is like going to the doctor: a generalist doctor gives you an overview about what’s happening in general but for a very specific problem you need to see a specialized doctor.

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