Writing isn’t easy, and re-writing is sometimes harder, but you go on because to stop now would mean to give up and let what could be a good story die. Today I begin the sixth draft of my first book, the fantasy epic, Never Heroes. It has been a struggle up to now, but the struggle finally seems to have an end in site.
I mistakenly called my previews draft the Pre Final Edit Final Edit. I thought it was done. But after my editor let her thoughts be known I came to an important realization about the manuscript.
Some of the chapters I had written I didn’t very much look forward to going over. They bored me. Some flew by with the ease of a soft spring breeze. Others were more like trudging a swamp. If it was that way for me, surely it would be the same way for my readers. It was time to spice it up and the first way to do that was by reading.
I must have ordered 10 books this last week, and I don’t expect them to last very long. An important book in this new library is Stephen King’s On Writing. Though I feared this book to be dry, it most assuredly was not. It has been an incredibly entertaining and engaging read, and has reinvigorated my confidence in this being a craftI can master.
It also helped me come to terms with this book never being 100% what I want it to be. I’ll shoot for 100%, but if I come up short at 90, that will be just fine.
I’m giving myself until May to close the book on this one and get it ready for the presses. The overhaul the narrative is going through really has changed it, all for the better. Insignificant side characters were set down while those that should have had the spotlight were given their dues. All the issues I had worried readers wouldn’t be able to accept I finally realized could just be re-written into things they would, and the story is all the better for it.
Even now in bullet point outline form, this thing is much better than the last draft. It’s a much smoother, more competent piece that, for the first time in as many months, has me excited to write it. Even now, nice new bits of prose and dialogue are coming to me as I drift off to sleep and as I get up in the morning.
This thing will be finished, and at last it shall be great.