I am deep into revising JADE MOON WANING.
Of the feedback I got when I sent it out to my CPs, a universal response was that it was kinda slow for the first hundred pages.
This time through, I saw a place where I could tighten that up. One little change…
And over 8 chapters broke.
I knew that something like that would happen. I got rid of a location, and some characters (I mentioned before that I had over 30 named characters, so I could afford to lose a few…), but I didn’t anticipate the knock on effect it would have.
Now it wasn’t that they all broke at once. It was more like I made a change and, yes, this is going to break this and that over here. Then as I’m fixing the breakage, and adding things, I see that those changes are having an impact further on. Things are happening sooner, other things don’t happen at all, now.
I tweeted about it when I was in the middle of the mess I’d made:
“The downside to getting my writing done first thing in the morning, is that I’ve got all day to think about how broken my book is.”
It was depressing – this whole book has been a bit of a struggle – but what am I going to do, give up on it?
I don’t think so.
If I’m not going to give up on it, I did the only thing I could do:
Sat down, and worked at it. Focused on what I was doing at that moment, not what else I might have to do later on. Just put my head down and moved forward, knowing that I would eventually fill in the gap, even if it took me smoothing out wrinkles until the very last page – and I know that there will be at least one tiny ripple in the last 15 pages that I’ll have to address.
Earlier this week, I filled in that gap. In the end, ten chapters had been impacted. Some of it I could use elsewhere, the rest of it goes into the Muse Droppings folder where it may find a home in other work sometime – or it may not. You never know.
This is a hard job. There is a better than average chance that, even after all of the work, the self-doubt, and the struggle, that this book won’t go anywhere.
But I love this job. Even if I’m only telling stories to myself.
There is so much that is out of your control in this business, but the one thing that you can control is how you approach it. There’s a lot of work involved, but you don’t have to try and manage it all at once.
Take each day and do what you can. Put your head down, keep moving forward.
You’ll get there.
See you on Thursday.
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