by Shelt Garner
Not only am I falling apart, but I continue to feel like I’m spinning my wheels when it comes to the first few chapters of this novel. This is the point in the past, of course, when the whole thing would collapse and I would pretty much lurch forward in the plot so I could at least start writing with some momentum again.
My heroine looks like Corrie Yee in my mind.
But this time, I’m not doing that. I’m going to press forward. I’m pretty sure that I have figured things out with the beginning of this novel. It’s just a matter of being really, really patient and methodical.
I’ve changed so much about characters and relationship when it comes to this novel that that, unto itself, is going to slow me down. But — hopefully — not too much. I am still on track to wrap up this third draft by about April 1st. That will give me a few months so do pre-flight things before I query to agents in the fall of 2024.
I still have no idea what I’m going to “comp” my novel to. In general, the novel could be compared to Gillian Flynn’s “Sharp Objects.” And I’m sure I’m going to make many, many mistakes as part of the querying process. But that’s part of the fun of it all, the thing that gives one a sense of adventure.
Being an aspiring novelist, you are bombarded with a lot of advice, all of it being contradictory. It’s enough to make your head spin. But I’ve come up with my own, personal, set of arbitrary rules that I *try* to follow as well as possible as I write this third draft.
I believe I have a stable first chapter. I believe I’m well on my way to having a stable second chapter. The big issue will be how quickly — or slowly — it takes me to get past just the first few chapters into the core of the first act and then into the second act.
I can’t keep writing and re-writing this portion of the novel forever.