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The Novel and the Fidgeting Author

Excuse me for thinking aloud on the net. I know, it's the equivalent of talking to myself in public, but at least you can't see me swilling cheap bourbon while I'm gushing out words, knowadameen? (OK, so it's tea, and I won't really talk that much...)

I'm very, very close to finishing the first rewrite of the fantasy novel I'm working on – tentatively called 'The Third Transmutation'. I've read through the novel and made changes galore. I pretty much hold the story in my mind, and that means doubts have started popping up. About how I weighed the information and explained character motivation, and how different factions are acting. Is it enough/not enough/overwhelming? And then there's the whole issue of too much action vs. not enough characterization that I've started wondering about. I want it to be an action-filled novel, but I also want people to care for the characters when I stick them in nasty fights.

So while you're all listening patiently to my ramblings, permit me to say this: Aaargh!

Ahem... I know that having other people look at the manuscript will clarify all this, but right now I'm seriously fidgeting about sending an imperfect manuscript out to first readers.

Please, somebody tell me to get over it :-)

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
jakobdrud
Oct. 4th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC)
Get over it. :p

Thanks, I needed that :-) I'll send it out, and I'll even start another novel while I wait for the feedback. That ought to keep my brain from exploding.
j_cheney
Oct. 4th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like that!
j_cheney
Oct. 4th, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
You can keep editing endlessly, but sooner or later you have to commit.

In other words, get over it.
jakobdrud
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:10 pm (UTC)
In other words, endless editing would be hell. Waiting for feedback would only be purgatory. I know what I prefer ;-)
threeoutside
Oct. 4th, 2011 11:23 pm (UTC)
My Rx: Give yourself a reasonable deadline to finish it. Then lop three days off that and make THAT your deadline. Then send it to your first readers. Don't give those doubts ANY time to fester. There's no rule that says you cannot be making notes as you think of them WHILE your first reader(s) are going over it. In fact, maybe that's a good idea: maybe you'll find out that the stretch that you think is too over-long is a 1st reader's very favorite part!

Perfectionism kills creativity. Don't let it drag you down, especially not when you're this close!
jakobdrud
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:12 pm (UTC)
Perfectionism kills creativity

That is so true. I used to be plagued by that particular illness, but posting about it helps me overcome it. Esp. when I get the kind of encouraging feedback you give me :-)
bogwitch64
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
Jakob--get over it. It's not a 'first' draft, but no one is expecting final, polished, ready for the bookstore shelves perfect. Let it go, my dear. Until you get some fresh eyes on this thing, you're not going to be able to tell up from down.
jakobdrud
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:15 pm (UTC)
It helps that I already read a novel ms. from one of my first readers, and I've seen how well she has applied the feedback we all gave her. In other words, feedback rocks. The nerves? I'll get over it :-)
karin_gastreich
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:09 pm (UTC)
It's always nervewracking to send a draft to readers for the first time. But you said it yourself: "having other people look at the manuscript will clarify all this" If you start changing things now, you may be 'fixing' what was never broken in the first place.

So just let it go and let 'characterization versus action' and all the other stuff be THEIR concern for the next little while, not yours. When it comes back to you, you'll not only have a better idea of what (if anything) needs fixing, but a fresher perspective on how to fix it.
jakobdrud
Oct. 5th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Karin! That fresher perspective seems to be what I need most right now. I have a thing or two that I can fix (chronology stuff), but you're absoloutely right: It'll be good to leave the characterization/action question for someone else for a while.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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