October 26, 2012

Novel Writing (The Horror)

Perhaps thirty seconds ago I finished fiddling with draft three of my current novel project. Draft three of Gravity knows how many. Maybe it's because I've been working on the thing for too long, but I feel much less relief than I thought I would now.

Perhaps more than with any project I've ever written, I have no idea how to feel about it. Is it good? Is it terrible? Have I wasted a year? Draft one received very mixed reviews from my writing group, and I'm not sure that I've made it better in this version.

"They" say that novels are never finished, only abandoned. It's time to walk away from this one for a while, leaving it like an orphan on a doorstep. It hurts to think that I'll have to take it back someday, and work on it MOAR.

Like this, only scarier.

In the meantime, it's almost NaNoWriMo. Will I attempt to outline and begin a new novel in only six days? I honestly don't know right now. Maybe it's the October spookiness outside, or the ineffable doomfeel of the impending election, but I'm feeling a little on edge.

I'm feeling a little behind. I have no idea how I can feel behind on my own life, which has no firm deadlines, but there you have it. I can't believe it took a year to write three drafts of this novel, considering I almost completed draft one during last November. But I suppose life is perverse like that. For another example of perverseness, my instinctual reaction to feeling behind is to avoid working.

Yeah, I know. Get back to work.

If you have any suggestions for how to actually do that, let me know.


  1. I went through this same process last year. It feels insane to think that I spent twelve months working on something, only to know that I'll have to take it back and do more work and then...oh god, agents? Query letters? The endless waiting and rejection emails and-and-and--chocolate. STAT.

    So, I've started working on this year's NaNo already. The only way to do it is do it. I opened up my ideas folder and tore something out of that, so at least I had a starting point.

    1. I totally agree with this assessment, and any day now I will pull on my big girl panties and get to work. I do have a germ of an idea, just not enough to start writing with.

      Part of my overwhelmedness comes from having been almost all the way down this road before with another novel--agents, query letters, rejections from every publisher there is--so my belief that it's possible to sell novels is a bit shaken. Oh well! Must press on!