I am actively resisting the temptation to list out all the scenes I wrote in my now-finished novel and then fill in the blanks and write myself a big to-do list of all the edits and rewriting and new scenes I need to add.
But I’m determined to keep working on my writing, and to not fall into a post-novel-finishing hole. So what’s next?
I’m an unpublished writer, and this was no.4 to go in the drawer… which means there are three other novels which probably need work. And I’ve got a lot more distance from them. I can be something like objective.
The first one I ever wrote has been revised 5 times and rejected many more. I think it’s full of potential and I really like the story, but I don’t want to send it out into the world until I’m certain it’s the best I can make it. I don’t want to regret it and there’s no actual hurry. It’s not going anywhere.
The second one I wrote has never been revised. It’s about some teenagers in their final year of high school during the 1981 rugby race riots in New Zealand. I love the title and the character and the story, but it’s not as well executed as I’d like.
I sound like a perfectionist. I’m not particularly. You should see the state of my house on a normal day. Definitely NOT a perfectionist.
The third book I wrote is a romance about a rugby player and a cake decorator. This has been revised a couple of times, and a few people have read it. I’ve submitted to agents but not publishers.
The way I see it, I have two options: a full, from-scratch revision of the young adults novel, or the much easier third revision of the romance.
I’m going to go with the short-attention-span option.
Today I printed out chapter one and wrote all over it. The start is the hook, probably the most important bit (except for the rest…) and if I want to pitch publishers or agents then I need a strong start. The first three chapters need to be tight and sharp and irresistible. And somehow, while I revise them over and over, I need to keep from being self-conscious and over-thought.
Maybe I’ll just revise them once and then work my way through the whole thing before I fix up the first three chapters again and again.
… with the help, perhaps, of the writers group that meets here every Saturday evening.
Or maybe I should just jump, re-revise the three chapters and then start querying publishers. Plenty of time to re-revise the rest of the manuscript while I’m waiting the four to six weeks it takes to get a reply from publishers.
I’m feeling very impatient – rarely a good thing. I’m liable to send out some utterly unfinished tripe. (Tangent: the market in Antony has a ‘triperie’. I have always avoided it.)
Luuk’s on holiday this week so I’m going to have a light week on the writing front, in an effort to be more present with my family during the day.
I’m going to be present, and doing fun things like exploring pokey little streets in Paris.
My goal for the week will only be the first three chapters. And maybe the query letter.
If I’m feeling brave I might even put up some potential opening lines on this blog for a little feedback and critique (and maybe voting!)