by Shelt Garner
After way more time than I imagined would need to pass, I finally, finally believe I may have figured out the layout of the first act of the third draft of my first novel. I’m going to have to be slow and methodical going forward. I’ve been writing all this copy, reading it, then throwing it out because it just wasn’t good enough.
I feel your vibe, Phoebe.
But it seems as though it’s possible this brutal editing and revision that I’ve been doing has finally begun to produce results. I’ve decided to focus on finishing the first two chapters of the novel. If I can stabilize the first two chapters, I think that will be the stepping stone for the rest of the novel.
That, at least, is the vision.
I just can’t keep treading water forever. I’m never going to write something that’s “perfect” relative to my very, very arbitrary personal metrics for what makes a “good” story. There is going to have to come a point — soon — when I just “give up” and do whatever I have to do, break whatever personal “rule” necessary to actually finish the fucking novel.
At the moment, I’m very pleased with the new first chapter I’ve come up with. It’s really, really good. Reading over it yet again, reads like a professional novel you might pick up casually at a physical bookstore. The point is to just finish the novel at this point. Finish. The. Novel.
Once I finish this third draft, then I have to figure out how I save up the money to get a professional manuscript consultant to read the third draft before I query it about a year from now. Of course, it could be that the fucking Fourth Turning happens and all my hard work will be moot because I’ll be too buy living underground, trying to avoid MAGA Nazi ICE agents hunting me down.
But as I keep saying — my vision for this novel is finally beginning to take shape.