I have been in "Novel School" since January. I just thought I was going to write a book - that simple. I didn't realize I was embarking on an education. But oh boy has it been...
I started out writing one story, working on it for a good 5 months, until another story caught my heart on fire. I put the first one down and started on the second. It seemed like a bold, scary move at the time as if I were somehow giving up, but it was the right one. Everything flowed. I holed up in my writer's cave and wrote two thousand words a day and over a hundred thousand words later, I've never been prouder. I finished it. Gosh darn, it. I finished it. And that's huge for me.
And yet... That too has not been perfect. You see, as much as I love, love, love my story, I still see flaws in it, and one big one in particular. It's like a pretty diamond with a big crack in it. And I just don't know if it can be salvaged. I don't know how to go in and just fix that one thing without taking the wrecking ball to it all. And I'm STILL not sure what to do yet. Do I even bother querying with this? Or do I kiss it goodnight with tears of love and put it to bed? (How many mixed metaphors did I just fit into one paragraph?)
In the meantime I've had another story idea. I'm now toying with starting ALL OVER again on a new novel and it hurts, yes, it hurts.
And yet, I feel as if the experience of the first two novels I worked on this year make this third attempt so much sharper and clearer. I have a much better sense now of the target I'm aiming at and what kind of story I actually want to write. And I think I better understand now, how to set up my blueprint so that big flaw doesn't make it into the architecture in the first place.
Still, my impatience creeps up on me. I wonder how many years I'll have to write before I have something worthy, something good, something right, something in the Library of Congress! I'd like to think I could just read books on writing and then cook up something fabulous - but like almost everything else in life it takes practice!
The third time's the charm?