Sunday, September 25, 2011

Go On, You Can Tell It To Me Straight

Last September I began work on my first novel. 3 months, a stint of Nanowrimo and I had in my hands 77,000 beautiful words. I can still remember the feeling of typing the very last word, pure rush.

Then came January, the bearer of fresh starts. I followed my plan to re-write and edit my way through my manuscript. It would be easy now, until it wasn't. That's when you learn the meaning of STUCK, over and over again, bogged down in your own dreck. The spring passes like a blur with little sense of movement foward. 77,000, so many words.

Come summer I hide away reading, best sellers, cult classics, tales big and small. It would all be a study in craft, seeing what works and what doesn't. Each read, the good and the oh-so-lovely bad sharpen my critical eye. They also gets me thinking about my own neglected alphabet soup, words that I've let linger and sit, now bitter to my own tongue.

September. Has it really been a year since I began? The thought leaves me hot and cold all at once. This is where I stand now. It isn't as clear cut as the banner titles, "Winner" or "Loser". It's neither good or bad, just a place that I know I don't want to stay anymore.

And so I begin again.

Have you completed a novel? What helped you to get through the first round of revisions?


  1. I completed 80 percent of my first novel in three months. It took six more months to finish my first draft, a year to arrange for and get some decent outside reviews, another year of shopping it to agents, and, after almost four years, I've decided to self-publish. In retrospect, I would do everything I ccould to shorten that time frame. Congratulations and good luck on your novel.

  2. Thank you Chris - I appreciate the encouragement and advice. It's great to connect with others and hear what they've learned thus far. Best of luck to you on self-publishing your novel. I would love to hear more about your experience. Thanks for visiting!