The day has come.
I say, ‘Hallelujah.’
My husband says, ‘It’s about time.’
Both are equally accurate.
As I mentioned in my very first blog post, I am a pantser by heart (for all of you non-writers out there, that means I did not plan ANYTHING about this novel). I sat down one night, needing something to keep me awake while I watched over my sleeping sick daughter, and thought ‘Hey, maybe I’ll finally try my hand at writing.’ A thought I’ve had many times before but never started. The task just seemed SO insurmountable, the mere idea exhausted me.
I’m not sure what made that night different, what convinced me it’d be more fun than work (haha…yeah right). Insanity perhaps?
Actually the writing of it was freaking incredible. I loved every minute of it. Even when I’d become stuck in places, I’d wake with excitement each day to see where the story would take me.
A pantser, through and through.
Then came the day when I sought other writers to critique this beast that I, with no writing experience, cranked out in four months. I thought for sure people would recognize my greatness. I mean, come on, it’s me. And I am AWESOME.
Sadly the only person that recognized anything was me.
My novel (surprise, surprise) lacked direction.
While the story had heartfelt moments, sex scenes I’m so proud of I’ll make sure my mother never sees my work, and story lines for both main characters that compelled most readers to keep reading…the reality was…my writing was rudimentary at best.
Thus beginning the editing stage.
Know what comes after editing?
Hell. Hell comes after editing. Editing is like Purgatory, a holding cell for you before your ultimate fate. Then boom. Into hell you go.
New critiques showed that while my writing skills had increased exponentially, each individual scene existed almost within its own little bubble, without anything tying into the whole…not the way it needed to at least.
Know what that translates into?
I wrote my entire novel in four months. I rewrote my entire novel two more times the next eight months.
All because I didn’t plan.
Which meant…oh yes…all of my pain and torture was my own damn fault.
Now I must admit, because this is my first novel, I think I needed to go through this process. I needed the endless editing and yes, even the endless revisions, to help me understand some of the complicated nuances of writing that most beginners simply do not grasp. Had I planned, my novel may have successfully come to the end sooner, but would the finished product have been of the same quality that it is now? For me, I don’t think so. I learn by doing. I have to be hands-on. I have to change one sentence a million different times to understand the depths of the effect of just one word.
As of yesterday, the fruits of my labor paid off. Not in the monetary sense, of course—though *fingers crossed* hopefully someone out there will find it worthy to represent—but because…
…wait for it…
That’s right. I’ve been silent on here for a few weeks, trying to stay disciplined, and I finally typed THE END on Morrow’s Horizon for the last time.
*drops the mic*
*fade to black*
This was amazing! I always love your words. You make me smile, you make me laugh. Tell me – when you drop the mic is it the nonchalantly cool way rock stars and rappers do?
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But of course…I am nothing if not a cool rock star 🙂
“….sex scenes I’m so proud of I’ll make sure my mother never sees my work…” This made me laugh out loud – I totally get this bit as I am the same.
Also struggling with the knowledge that Book 1 (as I imaginatively call it) is going to need a total re-write. I will do it, but only after I finish the much more organised and planned Book 2. I too am a pantser who has learned a lesson.
Love, lov, love this post!
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Thank you! Sigh… we pantsers… it’s like the greatest love affair, all wild and passionate as the story pours from us… then we go back and read it. LOL. Ai. But we lived and learned, didn’t we? We actually planned our book 2’s 🙂 That’s progress to celebrate, right?
Definitely progress. I have hope – it took a writer friend five years to finish her first. I’ve been doing this a year and I’m not that far from the end of one. Of course, edits are another story *whimpers*
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