Enrolled in Novel School

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?


  1. I'm standing reading this, so I can give you a standing o. You are doing it, you're really doing it. You're writing a book! Or two. Or three. Fantastic!

    Keep going.

  2. Congrats on finishing! That is really half the battle, isn't it? Whether or not you decide to put this book down for now you finished it and that, in and of itself, is a great accomplishment. Happy Weekend!

  3. Thank Amy, I need that standing O. Seeing as the day after I wrote this post I came crashing down with a fat case of the doubts again. But I'm plodding through them.

  4. Yay! Oh, Yay for you! That's what you've been up to! I'm so happy to hear that!
    While I'm not a writer . . . it seems to me that this is an expected formula for just about everything in life . . . 1. Test the waters, 2. Dip your toes in, and then 3. hop in, without restraint . . . now that you understand how deep and cool the water is.
    Yep. Seem perfectly natural to me!