by Shelt Garner
Another day, another few thousand words written on the very beginning of the third draft of my first novel. I feel like I’ve been spinning my wheels for months and months and months to the point that I’m growing rather alarmed. I’m so alarmed that I definitely feel in put-up-or-shut up mode.
My dream title for my first novel.
Having said all that, I’m beginning to feel more confident that I may — may — be just about to zoom through the story because I’ve finally established re-imagined relationships between the major characters. I’ve fleshed out some characters that were just meant to be minor characters. I’ve also leaned into the duality of my heroine’s professional life.
Which, I think, makes it a far more interesting read, even if for marketing purposes all anyone will want to talk about is how my heroine owns a strip club. But, I go where the muse takes me and that’s where I want to go. I’m willing to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, if need be.
One key reform I think I’m going to do with this latest version of the third draft is I’m not going to be so quick to re-read what I’ve written. While doing that has really helped make the story a lot better, it has also led to significant drift in the story simply because I keep seeing ways to make the story better.
There is a reason why they say all novels are “abandoned” rather than “finished.”
The story is never going to be “perfect,” it just has to be “done” and “good enough” that I can query it to a literary agent without being embarrassed at how bad it is.
The whole issue of querying is beginning to loom large in my mind. It’s very much uncharted territory. I really need to finish this third draft no later than, say, about March. That will give me time to figure out how to properly query and to find “comp” books, etc, etc.
It will be a whole new era in this project.
Having said that, I continue to be interested in learning about screenwriting. I have even gone so far as to print out the screenplay of “The Enteral Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” to use as my “textbook.” I probably will do the same thing soon with Star Wars.
I have a number of REALLY GOOD screenplay concepts rolling around in my mind. But, just as with the novel, I apparently seem determined to just drift towards my goal without any structure.
All this as I worry that just as I’m trying to query my first novel in late 2024, the whole world will implode / explode and I’ll be kicking myself for not learning how to use Ham Radio.