Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting stuck in holes slows down the pace.

Today was one of those bitter-sweet days. I chose to take today off so that I could work on editing Book 2. I was able to meet up with Reader #1 and secured her edits to Book 2, so I was pretty darn excited about making all those edits. It was kind of funny because I had this big long talk with her about how I felt like everyone was just being too nice and something had to be wrong. She said: "You've always been your worst critic, don't worry about it."

Well, I think I discovered today that I am not my worst critic. My worst critic put me in a half fit of tears this morning when I received her Fifty Page Dash. I have to put a disclaimer on this and say that I am in no way upset at her for her opinion. She was incredibly nervous that she'd end up hurting my feelings with what she said and I was like "please beat the crap out of me, I need it". I'll admit that while I was very upset for about four hours after reading what she had to say, I got over it. I realized that she is right on a lot of points. I knew there was something wrong and I couldn't quite put my finger on it...I'm fairly certain she managed to grasp what it was that I could not.

Her main point is that I'm a young writer and it shows. I basically gave her a 'no duh' at first. Then I thought some more and decided that there is a difference between someone who is obviously green and someone who is new and knows how to hide it really well. I'd like to be the latter. While I know that, whether your writing is good or not, a good story can get you onto the Bestseller list I'd like to be one of those writers that people also say "this was a well written book." I understand that this is my first book and it takes a number of attempts (or a genius)
to gain that kind of sentiment, but I'd at least, like to avoid landing in the 'her writing sucks' category.

So, with a heavy heart, I humbly submit myself to the chopping block. I asked her to do a physical mark-up of the whole book. Partly because I didn't feel like she gave me the kind of feedback I needed for what she was critiquing me on. It was kind of one of those "you suck in so many ways, but I'm not going to show you where you suck or what you could do to improve your suckiness." If you just say to me: "Your comma usage is off"...that doesn't really teach me to use commas properly or even see where I'm making mistakes. So, I'm hoping that she will see where I'm coming from and agree to this. While I'm terrified of what she's going to say, I'm also very excited to make positive changes to my novel and give it the overhaul that it needs. And please know that I love you my harsh critic!

For the number of you who really like the story, I'd really appreciate some feedback on what in particular about the writing you do like. I don't want to take something out if a majority of you really like it, but if you all agree that there is a part that could use a major overhaul, then it's getting a face lift.

On a happier note, I managed to get over my morning melancholy and make the edits to Book 2. Book 1 and Book 2 have now been compiled into one PDF...officially unifying The Will of Night Rain. I even stared going back through Book 1 and making some of the broader changes that my critic had mentioned. I'm beginning to realize that I may not be finished by the end of the month. Some of my readers have officially fallen off the face of the earth while others are already on Book 2 after only having the manuscript for Book 1 for a week. So, I'm resolving myself to giving the book the time that it needs to improve. I want to get everyone's feedback and maybe introduce a few more readers a couple more edits down the road.