All right everybody, here it comes. I know I’ve been doing a lot of procrastination blogging lately, where talk about what’s next, but I don’t really talk about what’s happening with my book or how much I am (or am not) working on it. But I’m here to tell you that this post, this very one that you are reading now, is not going to be like that; no, this one is different.
Because I’m almost done.
Yeah, I said it. I only have about thirty pages left of my initial draft to go through before I’m ready to send it out to the next round of readers. (Sorry Dad, but that still might not mean you yet. Let me sleep on that.) I thought that I would be more nervous about this, but I’m finding that I’m actually more anxious to just get the thing off, and excited to have some more eyes on the work to tell me if what I’m working on is actually worth all of this.
I mentioned before that I sent the initial draft to the people I thought would be my harshest critics, and I did that for two reasons: First, I could take their criticism more easily if I knew that the draft they had was the first, most rough one. Not my best work! Obviously needs improvement! I plan to do better!
Second, I knew that they would have the most extensive changes, and I trusted them to tell me the hard truth about structural problems and narrative arcs that weren’t making sense or needed more elaboration. I revised with these comments open next to me, in addition to my own, which I made with what I hope was an eye just as critical. I feel good about the revisions; I have no doubt I’m sitting on a better story then I was before, and it’s thirty pages longer!
This time the biggest thing I’m looking for is how the story affects the readers. I’m going to give it to a few people who like different kinds of books, just to see what they think. Most of all, I want to make sure that the story leaves them with a feeling, even if it’s not the feeling I’m trying to go for. Any feeling is better than boring, am I right?
I’m hoping it won’t take too long for the comments to come back to me, because warm weather always makes me feel insanely productive, and once summer hits I’ll be in grad school land, debating Shakespeare’s true identity with other nerds in Vermont. At that point I’ll have to go through and do what (I hope) will be the final revision, and then I really have to figure out what’s next.