Something I have learned about myself now that I have seriously begun the first revisions for Issobell: I don’t like to revise. When I write a story, I rush to the end. I don’t take time to develop crucial characters or plot points in my race to see the entire plot triangle on the page. I wonder if this is due, in part, to that fact that until last year I had never finished a first draft of any of my novel projects. But it’s annoying now! I wrote Issobell, helter skelter, in one month during the NANO challenge last fall, and it was under 55,000 words when I “finished”. I’ve already got it up to 57,000 in the process of revisions because of so many gaping wounds in the plot. Ruth will likely present a similar situation when I sit down to revise that after Egypt. I also think part of this issue stems from my childhood dream of being a published writer: like my acting talent, I think I always pictured that I would just truck along, doing my thing, and one day I would chance to meet the man or woman who would see my brilliance and launch my career: I believed, and still believe, to an extent, in a literary fairy godmother.
Now that I have this knowledge about myself, from whatever place it stems, I can take steps to ease this problem. For example, when I participate in NANO this year, I can make the word count a secondary goal to the goal of fully exploring each character and possibility as I go on my merry way. I already have a sketch of an idea, and a file on the computer that I keep adding to as I get more flickers, but I am staying true to the challenge and waiting until November 1st to begin. It’s a YA novel concept, which lends itself better to NANO anyway, since YA novels CAN be 50,000 words and published. I am realizing that this word count, while technically a novel, may be too short for the adult market. All a learning process.
My next step in the learning process is the conference in October. I have a pitch session scheduled, and a query session, AND a critique session: I will probably be bombarded with helpful information that it will take a few months to properly process. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll receive some positive reinforcement. How Pavlovian I sound!
So tonight may not have been a night of growth for my WIPs, but I am feeling like I’ve gained some insight into my bizarre writing mind.