In the past, when I’d finished a story and it sat on my computer waiting for the day when I would revise it, let a friend read it, feel like I knew more in order to fix it up, or shelve it, only to be read on the occasions when I felt nostalgic or for a blog post, I could let the story pass from my mind and move on to the next thing.
But here’s the thing about having released a book into the e-book universe: you can’t just forget about it. It’s out there. People–well, people I know–the day someone I don’t know reads it, I’m going to have a heart attack–people are reading it. I want to promote it a bit, here and there.
I put the novel I’m in the middle of…drafting, I suppose…on hold for a bit while I finished and then published Pearl. But now Pearl’s out and I’ve been getting back into the headspace to write Nicole the modern day existential heiress and Victoria the Victorian Age poor relation turned actress turned businesswoman.
All I could see were the flaws: I’m 170 pages in, why am I not at the point in the story where Victoria is already on stage? What is with the lack of description? It’s confusing switching between Vic and Nic. What is this idea anyway? What am I trying to say?
And then I found above the pretty quote.
Seriously, girl. Chill out. It’s a draft. Remember when you were reading really boring academic reports on plantation economics for The Keegans of Banner’s Edge? Or that book about the Atlantic economy in the eighteenth century? Zzzz. You had a better grasp on why you needed to know those things because that book was in third and fourth draft stage. And then you ended up using, like, almost none of it when you reformed it into Pearl and that story works!
So, in conclusion, try not to worry about why the story is such a mess right now and/or about the timeline of the story. Let’s not read very many boring academic books for this project. Embrace the fact that you’re a historical writer but not really a historical writer.
And who knows? If Vic and Nic stay a mess, it may end up being a novella about Beatrice anyway.
Which I guess means I need to read something on Girton College, Cambridge University.
At least Simon stopped trying to morph into the latest Man I Am Google Stalking. That’s always a plus. It’s nice when the characters don’t change description mid-draft.