Let me start off by saying that when I started this blog (actually, many moons before, fighting the idea with claws and fangs out), I had two fears: 1) I had nothing interesting to say and would bore the tears out of my readers; and 2) not enough time. The good news is I’ve created this great list of blog topics that continues to grow every day and each idea sounds more exciting than the others, all vying for my attention. Of course, they’re fighting PURPOSE, its sequel, my day job and that herd of monsters for that attention. Which brings me to the second fear: time is more precious than any other resource in this world – you can’t discover more, make more, clone more or even buy more (though you can pay others to do things, freeing up your time…but we still all have the same number of hours in each day). And this is my long-winded explanation for why I haven’t posted in a week.
I’ve chosen to spend my time back on PURPOSE. Yes, I thought it was done. Many times. And even right now, if an agent or editor requested the entire manuscript, I’d send it to them. But I don’t know that I can ever really say it’s “done.” My (yet-to-be) agent might. My editor might. My publisher definitely will at some point so it can be printed. But even ten years after it’s published, I will find ways to make it better. I’m definitely my worst enemy and my worst critic.
So I’m once again studying, analyzing, brainstorming and finding ways to make PURPOSE even better. I’ve learned so much over the last year about character development, dialogue, plotting, conflict, tension and story arcs. And some things I’ve learned more recently have led me to realize that PURPOSE can be better, with an even stronger main character and a tighter plot. As long as it’s not contracted to go to print, I’ll continue working on it, making it the best story it can be.
“Why bother?” you may ask. So many people with whom I’ve spoken about my book admire the accomplishment in just finishing it. Many say they could never stick with a project for so long, giving it so much time when the reward may never come. Writers and editors even recommend new authors stuff their first novels in a drawer and move on to the next…and the next…until they have actually written something worth publishing, because the first one is never good enough. And maybe not the second. And some people even say, “maybe it’s time to just chuck it all and be happy with the day job.” Even writers consider this for themselves when they hit that creative brick wall, can’t trap that elusive muse or are unable to attract the attention of an agent or publisher.
I, personally, cannot imagine chucking it all. Give up on my PURPOSE? No way in hell. And I’m not slaving away on it for the money or fame. Yes, I’d like to see it published so others can meet Alexis and Tristan and hopefully fall in love with them. So they can experience the ups and downs and twists and turns of the story. So they can close the book at the end, wipe the tears from their eyes and say aloud, “I can’t wait to see what happens next!”
But more than anything, I do it because I love it. I love writing, yes. But I love PURPOSE itself. I love my characters. I love the overall story. I want it to be the best it can absolutely be, even if my only readers are family and friends. Because I started this story for myself – what I wanted to read, a world I wanted to discover, characters I wanted to befriend.
It’d be great to share them with the world. But until that time comes, I will be polishing and perfecting. And I will never chuck it. I can’t even imagine having such a thought.
Just found your lovely blog, and all I have to say is “Amen!”
I’m right there with you. Good luck on editing! 🙂
Hey Kristie- I agree. I don’t see how I could give up on my current project. Ever. I might move on to working on other projects if this one doesn’t sell, but I see reissued books by folks like Dean Koontz and know exactly why they are doing it. For the money. Um, I mean, because they want to share a story they love.
And, over on my blog you asked about writing workshops- I am on “online writer’s workshop for science fiction and fantasy” and love it. There are some really talented writers hanging around. There is a free 1-month trial period, and then it’s about 40 bucks for a whole year. I forget the exact amount. Hope that answers your question. -Kelly
Thanks, Kelly. I’ll have to check out the workshop. Sounds like something for me. 🙂