Bogged down in the mire of editing my first novel, I now realize I greatly underestimated the levity of editing and how much time and effort it would truly take to create a beautiful story.
I have no short story for you… yet.
I know, I know. I told you I would, just like I told you I’d write eight blog posts a month, or when I told you I was planning on publishing my first book in April 2020 as a total novice who had never written a book before. In both of these instances, I had not really considered either what effort these undertakings would take, nor what my end result would look like in a worse case scenario.
So, just like I ditched the crank out blog posts about mundane shit everyone already talks about gig, I’m ditching the goal of April, 2020, because it’s just not feasible to make this book what it should be. I don’t know when I’m planning to publish at this point, but do no fret, this doesn’t mean I’m ditching the project all together, or my dreams of being a self-published author and CEO of a power-house independent publishing house that works to find the greatest unknown authors. I’m still putting in the 15-20 hours a week on this book until it’s finished, and I still plan on doing somewhere between 8 and 12 books, but with our goals of growing our family from just the two of us to three (and more), I don’t know when in the foreseeable future we’ll be able to do the whole publishing shebang. I don’t want to half-ass it, if I’m going to do this then I want to pay for good cover art, a professional proof-reader, the website, and all of the marketing tactics, promos, giveaways, it’s just a lot, but all necessary to give myself the best chance possible of being successful.
So, I’ve got to take my time, and that’s okay, there are tons of bloggers and vloggers who aren’t published yet and are documenting their journey. That’s really what my goal is with this blog, it isn’t to give you cheap advice about an art I’m still developing my own skills in, it’s to give you an honest look into a novice writer with passion and a big dream, which includes the times that I fail (and re-evaluate) my current goals. (This also includes getting snippets of my work posted on here for you guys but editing has been so intensive I haven’t had time to do anything else creatively outside of brainstorm ideas @.@; I’m so afraid to start a new project and leave this one behind.)
I totally underestimated the work this novel was going to take, and it’s not that the meat of my plot and story beats aren’t there (thank god I plotted to some degree), it’s just that my two main characters had no arc at all.
My female protagonist is now alright, her half of the book is what I’ve spent the most time on in the month of August (outside of the beginning itself), but I fear she’s not likeable, and I don’t really have a problem with that, she’s a depiction of a bad lifestyle in a lawless land, but I don’t know how that will translate to the reader, and I wonder if she needs a save the cat moment, even if it’s just small, to give some empathy to her. She’s on a tragedy arc in this novel, her story set into motion by her decisions (rooted in selfishness) and her subsequent downfall due to her inability to let go of that selfishness, but perhaps granting her a saving grace moment would twist the knife a little more at the end. I can say that as I’m getting older and have fully transitioned out of young adult and into adult, there are major moments of cringe and disappointment in my past that I couldn’t see at the time that I can now, and this is a sentiment I’m sure most people can empathize with to some degree. Giving her memories to look back on later and reconcile with internally gives her a rich character, now and in the future. As long as I can pull it off.
My male protagonist is who I’ve been having the hardest time with, and I think it’s because I wasn’t sure what kind of guy I wanted to start him as or what flaws I wanted to give him, so he basically had no set personality, nor a goal of what kind of person to develop him into. The premise of the story requires a lot of stepping up and shedding away the traces of his childhood self behind to become a true adult, so I’m trying to hone in on areas where he would still be immature, to give him a developmental arc in this first book around the essence of becoming your own person, deciding your own fate, and doing what you think is right even if everyone else disagrees. Again, as long as I can pull it off.
So that’s where my head is at right now, I took the holiday weekend away from my manuscript and haven’t looked at it today either, but I’ll return to it tomorrow to revise my male character and contemplate the depth I want to add in to other factions this early in the story without bogging down the pace. As of September 1st, my manuscript is at 124,215 words, and I feel like I have so much more to add.
Artists, give yourself a chance to re-evaluate your goals if you’re not reaching them despite your dedicated efforts, you just might be asking too much.