by Shelt Garner
I got my first glowing review from an alpha reader recently. When I got it I almost cried tears of joy — for once, what I thought should happen when I showed my writing to someone, happened.
But I have a huge amount of work to do. The more I work on these two novels, the more I realize how hard it is to overcome to headwinds of the expectations of people who don’t know me who might read the novel cold. (Which would be an apt description of a potential literary agent.)
Anyway, I’m just about to plunge into the first drafts second act now. I may continue this little pause I’m in for a few more days so I can turn my attention more to reading than writing. Yet I will definitely be writing full time again by, say, about this upcoming Sunday afternoon.
The general story is finally beginning to take shape and I have a pretty good grasp on structure as well. One thing I’m a little bit worried about is there is an abundance of plot. Some of that concern may come from whenever I talk to someone at length about these two novels, I talk about plot. Character is a bit more abstract at times and, as such, more difficult to talk about when you’re talking about “what the novel’s about.”
I have a lot — a lot — of reading I need to do to breath live into these characters. Too many of my characters continue to be just “moods” or exist because they need to exist. Another issue is my Hero continues to be a little bit too much like me. I need to read some to at least attempt to make him a bit more conservative than I am.
But it’s a struggle. And, yet, that’s kind of the point — it’s not easy to make your hero Not You so it’s work.
I still want to at least attempt to go the traditional publishing route, even though it’s clear that a lot of people think I’m just not good enough to be able to pass such a high bar. It’s kind of annoying that everyone thinks I suck, that I don’t have it in me to for once, meet a metric or pass a test.
The whole point of this journey was to have some overarching creative project to hold my attention, so I’m going to see it to the end. If, in the end, I can’t get past the gatekeepers, then I will, in fact, just self-publish in some way. But I haven’t gotten to that point yet.