Insecure Writers Support Group, August 2013
Wow, it's been a long time since my last post.
But I've been writing nonstop. I've picked up my first book once more, the one I started about 20 months ago. I finished the 6th or 7th draft of it around November of last year and started querying. Got one full request. Then I let the book rest for about 6 months, while working on the second. But after reading some fiction that changed my way of writing, I decided to rewrite to the first. I'm about 72% done.
The story was never its problem, more like the way it was told. And I do mean "told." There was no emotion in the characters, no motivation made apparent. It's written tight third person, ideal for when you're alternating viewpoints (five in this case) and you want to truly captures their struggles. But my first attempt failed at bringing out the characters.
I'm pretty sure I'm closer than ever to understanding how to capture the characters' struggles. You have to suffer alongside them. And this requires really getting to know them which, for me, only happened after half a dozen drafts and then a waiting period.
This post isn't quite so insecure as my last. But I'm sure there's some insecurities buried herein... Like, "What if I do all this work and the book still isn't good enough?" "What if the best I can make it still falls flat to those who read it?"
I guess the answer to any question such as these is the same. I sat down to write Darke and the Parandrus / A Sawmill's Hope just as clueless as I could be. And over the course of that first year, I read tons of books and articles on writing, watched writing videos, listened to writing podcasts, spoke with professional writers, agents, editors...
Long story short, if my first book goes nowhere, it won't have been a loss.
What about you? Is your first story destined for greatness or the chopping block? When do you know it's the best it'll ever be? Did your first book get published? Is it everything you dreamed?