So I’m still editing.
When I finished my novel back in May, I did not expect that I would be sitting here almost at the end of September with my novel (and my confidence) in tatters.
“Has she finished her book yet?” my husband gets asked about a hundred times a week.
“Not yet (insert random excuse),” he replies. “She’s got two finished and ready to publish so shouldn’t be long now.”
I do not have two books ready to publish (I wish!). What I have are two short stories I’ve been planning to self publish for ages. The problem with self publishing is the ‘self’ part. Vertical learning curve. Lots and lots of swearing. Long story short I have the first one ready to publish on KDP. I still have ePub and the second story to tackle. Oh, and then I have to plot and write the third, as I wanted to release all three together (the first two for free) in the hope of hooking reader’s interest and securing more downloads.
And then there’s the novel, what my husband’s friends refer to as ‘my book’, which has already been through so many rewrites and edits that it really shouldn’t need much more work.
My attempt to conceal my ‘bad guy’ til the end had resulted in a totally ambiguous threat; my villain’s motives didn’t really make sense, nor did his relationship with an accomplice who only had a name and didn’t actually appear in the novel at any point; my supernatural ‘world’ was vague to say the least, with far too much wide-eyed discovery going on for a lead who is almost a century old and should’ve cottoned on by now that she’s not the only supe at the party; there was far too much emphasis on my lead’s back story, which is important to the theme and plot, but not to the point of battering the reader over the head with it every other paragraph; my love interest had a secret past that was meant to put him at odds with my lead, just when they were starting to get close – but it ended up being a secret for a secret’s sake and was nowhere near as explosive as I’d first intended it to be. I could go on.
So I spent a few weeks feeling utterly deflated, certain that I’d wasted years of my life on a big pile of trash and that I was a failure and a disappointment. I found everything to do but write. On the plus side, I did discover Seasons 1 and 2 of The Strain, which I binge-watched and thoroughly enjoyed; am I the only one who finds Quinlan oddly attractive? Or is it just because I know it’s Rupert Penry-Jones under all that make-up? (If you haven’t seen Spooks or Whitechapel yet, I can highly recommend both series).
I’ve since recovered from my pity party and forced myself to sit and find solutions to the issues, which were varied and many. Several nights of solitary musing later and I now have a solid, fleshed-out enemy with convincing motives, who appears early on in the novel, and is prominent enough that my readers, should I get any, won’t read the ending and go, “Huh? Who’s he?”. His accomplice is now accomplices – also with motive, also who appear more frequently in the novel. The supernatural element of the novel (of which there wasn’t nearly enough for a story that’s supposed to be urban fantasy) is now more prominent; my lead has an expert grasp of the supernatural races, their issues and gripes and how they interact with both humans and each other. As for my love interest, I’m still working on him (which isn’t at all unpleasant).
And speaking of love interests….