(More) Things I Learned about Novels
The novel is finished. It’s the third one I’ve written (well, that I count, because the early attempts were just that…attempts).
This novel kicked my ass. I don’t think I’ve ever found a writing project to be so difficult before. But I learned some valuable lessons.
1) In the future when choosing to write a novel in a genre I’ve never so much as tried writing a short story in, allow more time than I think I’ll need. A lot more. Like twice as much or better. This will be very important to keep in mind if I’m ever under contract, because I’ll need to allow for a further out deadline than I might otherwise.
2) Just because a book has a lot going on and multiple points of view doesn’t mean it will be long. I figured that once I added a third semi-major view-point character that I’d be good on the length problem. No the case (though closer than the book would have come otherwise).
3) Fast pacing doesn’t mean skipping description. I think I also finally started to grasp the idea that “setting is character opinion” better in this book, so even if the rest of it is a giant fail, I got to practice pacing and setting.
4) It doesn’t have to be good, because frankly, in the middle of a book, I don’t even know what good is anyway. All I can see is the thousands of words standing in the way of finishing and the giant mess that might be on the page behind me. Done is good. Done is my new definition of good.
So. That’s over. Now, if my brain will stop trying to write sequels, I’m going back to short fiction and working on the e-book project until the end of the year. I miss short fiction. Being able to begin and end something in a single session sounds like heaven right now. And I’ve got five (yes…five! I’m so behind on admin work) stories that need to go out to markets.
As for the finished book, I have no idea. It’s being workshopped this next weekend and the query will go out to editors. I’ve given it to a couple first readers as well. Whenever they get back to me is when I’ll drag it out into daylight again and see about adding enough words (5-7k should do it) to make it commercially viable. Unless it gets a full request before then, in which case I’ll go into panic mode and do whatever needs doing at that point.