My computer is all set up and my writing rescued from the old, corrupt hard-drive. Which means I now have access to my novel. Which means no more excuses for not editing it.
I’m terrified of it not being good enough. I know it isn’t good enough right now. It’s not long enough, the writing is a complete mess in terms of grammar and consistency, and there is so much more telling than showing it’s sort of pathetic. I don’t know if I can fix it. If the bones aren’t good, what’s the point right? In the 2008 Writers’ Market for Novels and Short Stories there is an article about how to know when something is no good and when to move on to the next project. It’s where I first got the idea for the ten novels in ten years. And I know in my head that it isn’t done. There is a decent story here, there are characters I kind of like sometimes.
The problem is that this novel is my Frankenstein. Not the book, the monster. It’s the first. My original baby that I threw together from bits and pieces I could find laying around. A bit of a bad spy novel I read once, a couple characters from an old Shadowrun game, a villain right out of one my dreams, a mall fight scene because I thought it would be cool. It’s a patchwork novel, a strange creature built from cut corners and stolen inspirations. And to make it acceptable, to make it truly mine, I can’t just put a pretty dress on it and send it to the ball. That is why this rewrite is going to be so much work. I have to tear into the structure and rework the very marrow of the stuff. There will be carnage.
Time to get it out of the way, however. I have to do this. So for my two hours a day I’m going to be reworking a chapter at a time of Dangerous. (God do I wish I had a real title for this, sigh). It might take me longer than two hours per chapter, it might not. I don’t really care. One chapter per day. This will only take at most 20 days, and that’s if I add chapters. I can’t remember where it stood exactly, but I think it’s only about 17 chapters long at this point.
Things I want to do to this novel besides burn all copies:
1) Fill out character backstories and motivations. It’s third person omniscient, so this should be fairly easy.
2) Add about 100 pages to the novel. I don’t think this will be difficult either.
3) More world description. Make the setting matter more and feel more oppressive and dystopian. Include more news casts and more camera/police presence. (I should watch more Fox news to get more ideas, heh).
4) More peril. Things in the novel are entirely too much on the side of my protagonists. They should work harder. It’ll be more interesting.
5) Rework pretty much all the writing. It’s super sloppy right now due to me trying to cram words in for the word count. Contractions are a good thing.
Those are the main things. If I manage to fix all those things, I think the end product will be something more like a workable draft. Then I can finally inflict it on my friends and mother. They keep asking about it, silly fools. Well, by the end of March they will have learned the error of their ways. Oh yes.