Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Done. Sort of, mostly done.

I'm finished.

But I'm not sure what that means. The first time I thought it meant something. I'd written a complete novel with a beginning and a middle and an end. I knew editing was coming, but it was a milestone passed. Cheers and woots and celebrations happened.

Then I edited. Then I edited again. And again. Then I thought, "It Is Good" and I went out and bought the Writer's Market and started following instructions. Finally with feedback (after many rejections and query rewrites) about wonderful writing and interesting hook, but not being quite compelling enough, I look at my work again with fresh eyes and see a lot of passive verbs. A lot. So I rewrite again. Because she's right.

Months later, I have finished once again. It is unarguably better. So very much better. Because she was right. Now I have to sew my heart back to my sleeve and hold it out there again, offering up my once-again finished story to wait for someone to tell me that no, really, it's not finished after all. Because now I have read and I know that even if it is loved and accepted and even drooled over, the next place it goes after the agent is an editor. Where we edit again.

Because the worst case scenario is not having to do any more edits because it's been rejected more times than I can handle and it's done.

So I have to try.

But until then I get to start looking at the new story that has been pushing at my brain. Fleshing out characters. Outlining a story. Figuring out how best to introduce a character that will die in the very beginning. Getting ready for NaNoWriMo, because I'm waiting till then to start. Because I have been challenged.

And since I have the experience of the first one behind me now, I know this second one won't take me two years to finish.


  1. I totally feel your pain. I've been hammering out my novel for the better part of 18 months. Low and behold, just as I thought I was getting closed to "finished" I started noticing a lot of PPP's. Those little pesky "ing" words at the beginning of my sentences. Guess what, I had to start all over again (editing). The reality is that the novel will likely never be done. it can only be as good as you think its going to get, because if you are ever lucky enough to get it in front of an editor for publishing, there will be more changes.

  2. Don't let the continuous edits keep you from finished for too long. Even if it's a short-lived glory, disappearing when the edits begin, all writers should experience the joy of a completed novel - as in having a beginning middle and end actually written down. As mentioned, edits can last forever. Lots of luck with yours!