Why the Shakespearean butt joke? Because it makes me laugh and because, when confronted with the sheer amount of work ahead of me, I need a chuckle at the moment.
I finished a novel recently. I had to fight kind of hard to get this one started, beginning and revamping and starting over five or six times before it caught. I’ve written about it before. Not a big deal, keep grinding.
Then I gave it to people to read and give me their thoughts and things are…not great.
I’m not much of an editor, obviously. It’s my least favorite part of the process until it becomes my favorite part when things get better and better and you get more and more excited. Even then, I miss big stuff pretty often. I know my voice, I know what I’m trying to say and the words on the screen tend to rearrange themselves to fit what I meant instead of what I wrote. I know the tricks – change the font, read it aloud – I just tend not to do them.
But this time I missed something bigger – the entire engine of the piece. What I had fought with at the beginning didn’t work, for a variety of reasons at were right in front of my face. You get it. It’s not a rewrite from page 1, but it’s not…not that either.
I mention this for several reasons.
- My beta readers are absolute life savers. Heroes. Throw them a parade and shower them with rose petals and the sexual favors of their choosing.
- To share my frustrations so if you’re feeling frustrated we can commiserate. Not everyone is Jeff Strand or Grady Hendrix who pump out great, fully formed books on the regular. Jeff Strand and Grady Hendrix are also heroes, BTW.
- To let everyone know not to expect my next book in the next few weeks or anything. It’s going to be some time.
- Hopefully, to kick myself in the butt (he he, butt) to get some damn editing done.
The book is going to get better. A lot better. A lot, lot better. I’m going to give myself a few days, write a short story and hit it hard next week with enthusiasm and gratitude. But, man. I thought I had it.